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Why the ancient Stoic philosophy is making a comeback

An engraving of a seated philosopher from the Palazzo Spada in Rome circa 50 AD. It purports to be a statue of Roman statesman Seneca. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
An engraving of a seated philosopher from the Palazzo Spada in Rome circa 50 AD. It purports to be a statue of Roman statesman Seneca. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

What do Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet have in common with former Defense Secretary James Mattis and politician Cory Booker? Turns out they’re all part of the modern Stoic movement.

It’s a movement that once included the emperor Marcus Aurelius, and the philosophers Seneca and Epictetus.

The contemporary movement is growing internationally, particularly in the United States where there are podcasts, websites, Instagram accounts, Ted Talks, YouTube channels, daily newsletters, and of course merchandise.

So what’s the attraction? Host Robin Young talks to Yale University classics and philosophy professor Brad Inwood, who explains the philosophy and what modern practitioners get right and wrong.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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