How to Be a Stoic

Ancient Wisdom for a Happier Life

About the Course

Stoicism is an ancient guide to life, but its insights are more relevant than ever. Many of the greats were influenced by Stoicism—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, JK Rowling, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, just to name a few.

It’s a recipe for happiness and self-mastery. And it’s not just a philosophy for elites; it’s full of practical wisdom for entrepreneurs, athletes, parents, and everyone in-between.

Stoicism’s rational and pragmatic philosophy is captured by The Serenity Prayer: it involves developing the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference. Or as Epictetus remarked…

What, then, is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.

We can come to embody the Stoic philosophy by cultivating virtue and refining our judgements through reflection and practice.

In this four-week course, you’ll learn how to be a Stoic. We’ll explore the main themes of Stoicism; the four cardinal virtues; Stoic techniques such as the dichotomy of control and negative visualisation; Stoic advice of death, love, and relationships; and most importantly, how to practice Stoic wisdom in your daily life.

With the help of weekly readings from Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus and others, and guided group discussions with a leading Stoic scholar, you’ll discover this ancient guide to a more happy, fulfilling, and tranquil life.

About the Course

Stoicism is an ancient guide to life, but its insights are more relevant than ever. Many of the greats were influenced by Stoicism—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, JK Rowling, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, just to name a few…

It’s a recipe for happiness and self-mastery. And it’s not just a philosophy for elites; it’s full of practical wisdom for entrepreneurs, athletes, parents, and everyone in-between.

Stoicism’s rational and pragmatic philosophy is captured by The Serenity Prayer: it involves developing the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference. Or as Epictetus remarked…

What, then, is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.

We can come to embody the Stoic philosophy by cultivating virtue and refining our judgements through reflection and practice.

In this four-week course, you’ll learn how to be a Stoic. We’ll explore the main themes of Stoicism; the four cardinal virtues; Stoic techniques such as the dichotomy of control and negative visualisation; Stoic advice of death, love, and relationships; and most importantly, how to practice Stoic wisdom in your daily life.

With the help of weekly readings from Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus and others, and guided group discussions with a leading Stoic scholar, you’ll discover this ancient guide to a more happy, fulfilling, and tranquil life.

About your instructors

Dr Matthew Sharpe

Dr Matthew Sharpe is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University. His research interests include classical philosophy, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. For the past decade, his work has increasingly focused on Stoicism and modern receptions thereof, and he is currently working on a forthcoming book about philosophy as a way of life.

OR

Dr Edward Spence

Dr Edward H. Spence is Honorary Research Associate, the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney, and Research Fellow at the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, Netherlands.
He is the author of several books, including his latest book Media Corruption in the Age of Information (2021) and his forthcoming book Caught in the Web: Stoic Philosophy and the Control Problem of AI Technology (October 15, 2021).

He’s the founder of the Philosophy Plays Project whose aim is the communication of philosophy to the general public through drama and audience participation through discussion.

Several of his philosophy plays have been performed at Arts and Cultural Festivals in Australia and the USA, including venues such as the Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Sydney.

His two latest philosophy plays on Stoic philosophy, Zeno’s Secret in 2018, and Ataraxia and Algorithms (May 2021) were performed for the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Dr Matthew Sharpe

Dr Matthew Sharpe is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University. His research interests include classical philosophy, psychoanalysis, and critical theory. For the past decade, his work has increasingly focused on Stoicism and modern receptions thereof, and he is currently working on a forthcoming book about philosophy as a way of life.

OR

Dr Edward Spence

Dr Edward H. Spence is Honorary Research Associate, the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney, and Research Fellow at the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, Netherlands.
He is the author of several books, including his latest book Media Corruption in the Age of Information (2021) and his forthcoming book Caught in the Web: Stoic Philosophy and the Control Problem of AI Technology (October 15, 2021).

He’s the founder of the Philosophy Plays Project whose aim is the communication of philosophy to the general public through drama and audience participation through discussion.

Several of his philosophy plays have been performed at Arts and Cultural Festivals in Australia and the USA, including venues such as the Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Sydney.

His two latest philosophy plays on Stoic philosophy, Zeno’s Secret in 2018, and Ataraxia and Algorithms (May 2021) were performed for the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Course structure

The course consists of four 90-minute classes and takes place in our virtual classroom over Zoom. It is a live and interactive course, which features:
  • Assigned readings,
  • Live lectures,
  • Live Q&A sessions with the instructor,
  • and Zoom breakout rooms with your intellectually curious classmates.
Discussion spaces are available via private Discord channels. To maintain an optimal learning environment, class sizes are limited to 30 people — so be quick in securing your spot!

What You'll Learn

Overview

Themes, Masters, and the Four Cardinal Virtues

Techniques

Dichotomy of Control, Negative Visualisation, Stoic Meditation

Advice

Emotions, Relationships, Death

Practice

Incorporating Stoicism into your Daily Life

Overview

Themes, Masters, and the Four Cardinal Virtues

Techniques

Dichotomy of Control, Negative Visualisation, Stoic Meditation

Advice

Emotions, Relationships, Death

Practice

Incorporating Stoicism into your Daily Life
Overview

Overview

Themes, Masters, and the Four Cardinal Virtues
Techniques

Techniques

Dichotomy of Control, Negative Visualisation, Stoic Meditation
Advice

Advice

Emotions, Relationships, Death
Action

Practice

Emotions, Relationships, Death

Course dates

August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST
• Week 1: Tue 17 August, 2021
• Week 2: Tue 24 August, 2021
• Week 3: Tue 31 August, 2021
• Week 4: Tue 7 September, 2021

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September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 10.00 AM AEST to 11.30 AM AEST
• Week 1: Sat 11 September, 2021
• Week 2: Sat 18 September, 2021
• Week 3: Sat 25 September, 2021
• Week 4: Sat 2 October, 2021

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October 2021

Class Dates

• Week 1: Tue 5 October, 2021
• Week 2: Tue 12 October, 2021
• Week 3: Tue 19 October, 2021
• Week 4: Tue 26 October, 2021

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November 2021

Class Dates

• Week 1: Wed 3 November, 2021
• Week 2: Wed 10 November, 2021
• Week 3: Wed 17 November, 2021
• Week 4: Wed 24 November, 2021

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0 tickets remaining 100%
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August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST

• Week 1: Tue 17 Aug, 2021
• Week 2: Tue 24 Aug, 2021
• Week 3: Tue 31 Aug, 2021
• Week 4: Tue 7 Sep, 2021

Tickets Sold:
0%
Pay With:

September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 10.00 AM AEST to 11.30 AM AEST

• Week 1: Sat 11 Sep, 2021
• Week 2: Sat 18 Sep, 2021
• Week 3: Sat 25 Sep, 2021
• Week 4: Sat 2 Oct, 2021

Tickets Sold:
0%
Pay With:

October 2021

Class Dates

• Week 1: Tue 5 Oct, 2021
• Week 2: Tue 12 Oct, 2021
• Week 3: Tue 19 Oct, 2021
• Week 4: Tue 26 Oct, 2021

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0 tickets remaining 100%
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November 2021

Class Dates

• Week 1: Wed 3 Nov, 2021
• Week 2: Wed 10 Nov, 2021
• Week 3: Wed 17 Nov, 2021
• Week 4: Wed 24 Nov, 2021

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0 tickets remaining 100%
Pay With:

August 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 6.00 PM AEST to 7.30 PM AEST

• Wk 1: Tue 17 Aug, 2021
• Wk 2: Tue 24 Aug, 2021
• Wk 3: Tue 31 Aug, 2021
• Wk 4: Tue 7 Sep, 2021

Tickets Sold:
0%

September 2021

Class Dates

All classes run from 10.00 AM AEST to 11.30 AM AEST

• Wk 1: Sat 11 Sep, 2021
• Wk 2: Sat 18 Sep, 2021
• Wk 3: Sat 25 Sep, 2021
• Wk 4: Sat 2 Oct, 2021

Tickets Sold:
0%

October 2021

Class Dates

• Wk 1: Tue 5 Oct
• Wk 2: Tue 12 Oct
• Wk 3: Tue 19 Oct
• Wk 4: Tue 26 Oct

Tickets Sold:
0 tix left 100%

November 2021

Class Dates

• Wk 1: Wed 3 Nov
• Wk 2: Wed 10 Nov
• Wk 3: Wed 17 Nov
• Wk 4: Wed 24 Nov

Tickets Sold:
0 tix left 100%

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