Jan 11 • 8M

Stoicism in a Time of Pandemic

Did Marcus Aurelius create a handbook for coping with the plague?

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Appears in this episode

Donald J. Robertson
Donald Robertson, the author of "How to Think Like a Roman Emperor", and a cognitive-behavioral therapist, talks about how to apply Stoicism in the modern world, discussing philosophy, psychology and self-improvement with guests from all walks of life. Available on Google and Apple podcasts.
Episode details

Re-reading a newspaper article that I wrote at the start of the pandemic about how Marcus Aurelius used Stoicism, in the Meditations, to cope with the Antonine Plague. It struck me that, in part at least, the Meditations can be seen as Marcus’ notes to himself on coping with the psychological and moral challenges of the plague — or, if you like, as a manual for coping Stoically during a pandemic.

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  • How Marcus used Stoicism to cope with his own pandemic

  • The Dichotomy of Control

  • Modelling virtue

  • Contemplating our own mortality

Original article titled Stoicism in a Time of Pandemic, from The Guardian newspaper, April 2020.

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