William Irvine, Stoic for Life

May 15, 2012


Although it can be uncomfortable to look death in the face, contemplatives and philosophers have been doing that for millennia.
When philosopher William Irvine went looking for a philosophy of life, he stumbled upon the Stoics.
Irvine says Stoicism teaches that minding our mortality can help us live a more joyful life. 


I consider Polyanna character, as portrayed in the original novel as entirely accurate incarnation of Stoics' teachings. When Irwing mentions that Stoic would delight about the fact that we have glass at all, this is paralleled by the eventual delight of Polyanna that she still has legs. Similarly, Polyanna principle was mocked enough, similarly as Stoics were, especially when they were overt. I pracice my own "closet virtue" by resisting o mention that I'm vegeterian by quietly selecting appropriate food. When i'm drawn into discussion about that, I often regret that I didn't manage to keep low profile about that. As for Polyanna, I find her character entirely plausible and worth identifying with.