I am beginning an occasional limited series of posts leading up to the STOICON 2016 conference, scheduled in New York City for 15 October. (More info? Here. Tickets? Here. Looking for cheap accommodation with a fellow Stoic? Here.) The idea is to briefly feature each of the scheduled speakers for our talks and workshops so that people can better appreciate some of the leading figures behind the Modern Stoicism movement (is that what it is?), as well as give their reasoned assent to the impression that this is a conference worth attending…
We begin with Greg Sadler, the current editor of the very popular and influential Stoicism Today blog, who will be running one of the afternoon workshops at STOICON, on “Struggling with anger? Useful Stoic perspectives and practices.”
Greg is currently living and working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after being gone for 20 years — and very happy to be back there with his wife, Andi, a native of the place, like him. Greg started off as a more or less traditional academic (BA in Philosophy and Mathematics from Lakeland College, MA and PhD in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University), but rather unusually also did some teaching in a maximum security prison (no, he wasn’t an inmate). Over the years he has transitioned to a different career, still in philosophy, and occasionally still in the academy, giving talks, running workshops, or as a consultant, though he now more or less thinks of himself as a small business owner and entrepreneur.
Specifically, he does content development, puts together online courses, does organizational and academic consulting, as well as philosophical counseling and public speaking for ReasonIO (“putting philosophy into practice”), as well as executive coaching, ethics training, and curriculum development for Priority Thinking.
Greg’s philosophical interests are definitely not confined to Stoicism, as for instance he maintains the Half Hour Hegel Project, preduces a philosophy YouTube channel, and of course writes a general philosophy blog, Orexis Dianoetike.
In 2011 Greg published a book, Reason Fulfilled by Revelation: The 1930s Christian Philosophy Debates in France, a selection of and commentary on previously untranslated documents pertaining to a debate that took place in the early 1930s among a number of French Catholic and secular philosophers on the question of the meaning, and even the very possibility, of Christian philosophy. The positions articulated during those debates provided intellectual background to discussions about nature and grace, as well as the interaction of philosophy and theology, that informed theological debate before and during the crucial Second Vatican Council.
What about STOICON? Greg’s workshop, as I said, will focus on a classical Stoic theme: anger management. Anger remains just as problematic an emotion for us today as it was for those living in ancient times. Stoic philosophers provide us with a number of perspectives and techniques we can use to understand and address anger. Greg’s workshop will lead participants through examining, discussing, and applying insights drawn from Stoicism to deal with this troublesome emotion. He will focus in particular on anger experienced by oneself, exhibited by others, and arising in our wider culture. (You can read his most recent essay on this, Other People’s Anger – Resources and Reflections From Epictetus.)
Greg’s STOICON workshop is scheduled for the afternoon session, from 2:30 to 4pm.