Beyond The Individual

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Do you believe you think independently? Do you alone control your actions? Stoic philosophy posits that your mind, thoughts, and actions, are traces of a world that shapes you, and everyone else, together. Our Stoic nature is part of a system, not independent. This book studies how a Stoic thinks and acts as part of a community and in service of a world, rather than separately or for themselves alone.

This is not just another book about Stoic philosophy. Stoicism has been popularized as a way to primarily serve personal benefits, promising mental resilience to an uncontrollable world of people and events. This book instead explores how for the Stoics we only benefit personally by being aware of how we are entangled with our fellow humans and the world. This perspective reveals anti-individualistic conditions for the wellbeing that individuals seek from the philosophy.

By studying features that might seem to define us as separate individuals – our mind, body, self-preserving instinct, knowledge, and happiness – we find that everything about each of us is interconnected and shared. The theoretical analysis, suitable for general and academic readers, involves all ancient Stoic eras, comparisons with Presocratic, Platonic, and Aristotelian positions, and modern Stoic debates.

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