22 01 12.stoicismpractica.ata

Stoicism as Practical Philosophy

Massimo Pigliucci

Stoicism is an ancient Greco-Roman philosophy that has been repurposed for the needs of the 21st century. CUNY philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be a Stoic, walks us through the basic theory and some practical applications.

About the Course

Stoicism, as a philosophy of life, has shaped the lives of emperors, provided refuge for anti-apartheid leaders, and inspired whilstleblowers, Church leaders and philosophers across two millenia. And this ancient Greco-Roman philosophy is now being repurposed for the needs of the 21st century. How can we cultivate our characters today, to be good members of the human cosmopolis and find genuine happiness? What does it mean to be virtuous in this day and age and how do we achieve that?

Join CUNY philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to Be a Stoic, as he walks us through the theory and some practical applications. Pigliucci leaves us with ancient wisdom on how to be happy and the practical exercises to help us get there.

By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • What Stoics thought was so special about humanity
  • How to let go of what you can't control
  • The real secret to happiness
  • What being virtuous means and how to live in accordance with it
  • Why it's important to be less busy
  • Why staying connected to others in crucial for Stoic practice

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • Massimo Pigliucci

    Massimo Pigliucci is an author, blogger, podcaster and Professor of Philosophhy at the City College of New York. He is the former co-host of the Rationally Speaking podcast and formed editor-in-chief for the online magazine Scientia Salon. Throughout his philosophical career, Pigliucci has been a critic of pseudoscience and creationism. He argues for secularism and also draws on Stoic philosophy when suggesting ways of living today.


    He is the author of several books including How to be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life (2017) and Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (2013).

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Stoic Theory
    Stoicism begins by telling us that we should live according to nature. We will find out what exactly this means.
  • Part Two: Stoic Exercises
    How can we enact Stoic ideas to improve our everyday lives? These exercises show the simple but deep ways we can start to become more ethical - and happier - members of the human cosmopolis.