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Thank you for your hard work, your clarity of thought, lack of verbosity, and unfailing ability to illuminate the crux of an idea. Your writings "do make me reflect and spur me into action", but most importantly they help guide and focus my actions. A lot of work still left. Thankfully it's a fascinating journey. Thanks again! You've been a lot of help so this old quadriplegic:-)

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I appreciated you defining eudaimonia as “a life worth living.” And for explaining that the common translation as “flourishing” is "biased in favor of the particular Aristotelian view of eudaimonia."

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Mar 6, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

On death, which at my age can hardly be a distant prospect, I think of it as the necessary price for being alive, what John Donne called the "last debt". No death, no room for birth. Relatedly, see Wallace Stevens' "Death is the mother of beauty….

And one thing that tries my patience is the infantile attitude now shown by the major creationist organisations, who reviving an ancient heresy proclaim that death can only be the result of human sinfulness, since God pronounced paradise as "very good".

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I was intrigued to note that among the reasons Cicero retreated to Tusculum was the "perilous" state of Roman politics. Presumably he could have remained in Rome and, like Cato, taken up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing ended them or, more likely, head to the open door. It strikes me that his choice was more Epicurean than Stoic.

For my part, the perilous state of American politics has me constantly thinking of moving to Europe, or what's left of it. (I hold EU citizenship by virtue of my Irish forebears.) There I would enter into a quiet, contemplative retirement. Or so I imagine. My wife, citing family ties and the need to take a stand, however quixotic, against the erosion of American democracy, feels otherwise.

As Anthony Trollope (a bit of a philosopher himself) observed, "what great comfort is there to be derived from a wife well obeyed." And so I remain, conflicted.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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I wish I could give this multiple likes. What resonated most with me after reading this was where you said, "...'indifferent', in the sense that they literally do not make a difference to our virtue." It feels like that one statement is back filling my understandings over the past few years in regards to both Stoicism and Buddhism. As a side note, I'm going through "A Handbook for New Stoics" right now, one week at a time. What an excellent way to immerse yourself in the teachings so that it provides focus on a subject that can get overwhelming on where to start.

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Mar 6, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

That is Beautiful

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Thanks Maximo for another great essay. Although I understand and do not entirely disagree with physician assisted suicide I do have one major concern. Being a physician I think am of the opinion that we need to be very careful with how this I structured. The worry is that we could become agents of the state since we are licensed by the state. No state is incorruptible just as are agents of the state. I think we should be very careful about the power/authority we give the state and that the state gives physicians regarding this. As far as I know, in the US, no one as yet abused this, but no one thought pre-hitler Germany would abuse it either. We all know had that turned out. I agree with your writing but I do think that we need to be very vigilant. Thanks

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Mar 6, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

👍😊

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deletedMar 13, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci
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