Stoic Camp NY

Epictetus-6Welcome to the (forthcoming) 2016 edition of Stoic Camp, an event partially sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the City College of New York!

[A downloadable (pdf) version of the 2015 version of the Camp’s Handbook, with full version of the reading materials, can be found here.]


Dates: September 1-4, 2016

Registration: closed.

Handbook: now available!


Stoicism is an ancient philosophy for living. This implies two things.

Because it is a philosophy for living, it is meant to be practical, and practiced. Thus, while theory is very important, Stoic Camp NY will also place heavy emphasis on practice. Before and throughout the Camp, we will ask you to actively participate by engaging directly with the ideas expressed in the text through contemplation, writing, discussion, and overt practice.

And because it is ancient, there are some concepts from it which may not be in accord with modern science and epistemology. Also, unlike, say, Buddhism, it has not been practiced continuously, and so has not had a chance to evolve for modern times. We currently live in a time where people are attempting to update Stoicism to fit with modern ideas and sensibilities, and there is a growing wealth of secondary and tertiary literature attempting to do this. However, there is no “settled” way to practice modern Stoicism. So, instead of engaging with modern literature or writing our own for Camp, we have decided to use exclusively ancient literature to allow you to engage and struggle with it in order to come up with your version of modern Stoicism, something that may work for you.

This is why the Camp will largely involve open discussion and guided assignments based on the ancient literature, so that you may develop with your own understanding of this philosophy, as well as forge your own path through it.


Below is a list of the readings discussed at the camp, more or less in the order in which we’ll tackle them. You will have some time to review the readings before we’ll get to them as described in the schedule. However, we strongly recommend that you complete all the reading before you arrive at Stoic Camp.

While reading, please copy any pithy quotes from the readings that resonate with you in one section of your notebook. Write as many or as few as you’d like. The purpose of doing so will be explained and discussed once you’re at Camp.

We suggest the following editions of the works mentioned below:

Discourses and Selected Writings, by Epictetus
Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius.
Delphi Complete Works of Cicero.
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laertius.
Euthydemus, by Plato.

●  Introduction to Stoicism

○  Excerpt from Plato’s Euthydemus, where Socrates and two Sophists debate the nature of virtue and the good.
○  Book III of Cicero’s De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (About the Ends of Goods and Evils), where he explains the Stoic system.
○  Selected passages from Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, from chapter 1 of the section on the Stoics: 39­51 (introduction and logic); 82­131 (ethics); 132­139, 142­143, and 148­149 (physics).

●  The Discipline of Desire and Stoic Physics

○ The Handbook of Epictetus (1.1­3, 2.1­2, 3, 8, 11, 26)
○ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (2.3, 4.45, 5.8, 5.15, 6.1, 6.38, 6.41, 7.9, 7.48, 8.50, 9.28, 9.32, 9.39, 10.5, 10.6, 12.14)

● The Discipline of Action and Stoic Ethics

○  The Handbook of Epictetus (24.3)
○  The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (2.1, 4.1, 4.12, 4.24, 4.25, 5.1, 5.6, 5.20, 5.36, 6.22, 6.32, 6.50, 7.5, 7.13, 7.22, 8.2, 8.32, 8.41, 8.47, 9.23, 11.21, 11.37, 12.20)

● Dealing with Other People

○ The Handbook of Epictetus (16, 30, 33.2­6, 33.9, 33.14, 42, 43, 45)
○ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (2.1, 4.6, 6.20, 7.26, 7.63, 7.65, 9.27, 9.38, 9.42, 10.4, 10.13, 10.27,11.18, 12.16)

● The Discipline of Assent and Stoic Logic

○ The Handbook of Epictetus (1.5, 5, 10)
○ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (4.22, 4.39, 5.2, 5.26, 6.13, 6.52, 7.16, 7.17, 7.68, 8.13, 8.29, 8.40, 8.49, 9.7, 9.15, 11.2, 11.16, 11.19, 12.8, 12.22)

● Assent and Stoic Mindfulness

○ The Handbook of Epictetus (4, 20, 29.1­7)
○ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (2.7, 3.4, 3.11, 7.29, 8.11, 8.22, 9.25, 12.3, 12.10, 12.18)

● Other Stoic Exercises

○ The Handbook of Epictetus (12.2, 15, 21, 33, 34, 41)
○ The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (Book 1 (skim), 3.13, 4.3, 5.16, 6.11, 6.48, 7.2, 10.11, 10.18 10.19, 10.29, 11.27, 12.7)