Interview with Larry Becker, part II

Larry BeckerHere is the second part of my ongoing series based on a personal interview with Lawrence Becker, author of A New Stoicism, on which I have commented a number of times before (use the “Becker” category on this site to read all previous posts). Part I is here.

Again, I will not add any commentary of my own, since Larry’s words come through loud and clear. I simply list a series of topics and the approximate times in the linked audio file where we discuss them.

The second file can be downloaded here.

What do you see as the major challenges posed by modern science to Stoic theory? (0:00-3:38)

What about the question of teleology, vis–à–vis modern science? (3:39-7:32)

On Existentialism (7:34-9:24)

Stoic agnosticism? (9:26-10:19)

What’s your view of the classical Stoic’s epistemology involving “kataleptic impressions”? Could  they be incorporated into a New Stoicism, or should they rather be disregarded entirely as ancient and incorrect epistemology? (10:21-10:42)

Analogy with history of Buddhism? And more on naturalistic teleology (10:45-16:15)

More on the project of updating Stoicism (16:16-17:42)

One criticism of Stoicism is that the ancients were a bit too optimistic, in light of modern cognitive science, about the idea that our thoughts really are under our control. How much of an issue is this for a modern Stoic? Also, on emotions (17:45-23:25)

What is the difference between following nature and, as you put it, following the facts? Comment on the effects of changing the human environment (23:25-28:36)

The relevance of fiction in exploring different scenarios for human societies and the constancy of human nature. The analogy with health (28:37-31:41)

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