How can Stoicism be adapted to a postmodern world?
These last few months, I had studied Stoicism. I learned quite a number of applicable skills and notions that will surely benefit me well in my day to day life. Yet, I cannot help but find some teachings to be too rationalist for how knowledge has evolved.
I do find that the idea of an unmistakable and supreme reason clashes with phenomenology and the Incompleteness Theorem, among many others. This is in some sense too obvious, as Stoicism is from two millennia ago, but I was thinking if there weere or there are more modern thinkers who have adapted Stoicism to a view of the modern world that does not solely encompass reason. With that, I’m also curious about your thoughts on stoic rationalism. Any input on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
I’m not well-read on Gödel or phenomenology, but in Secundum Naturam, Hall asserts that Stoic logic avoids the higher-order logic that the Incompleteness Theorem targets. Stoicism is both empiricist and rationalist and seems quite comfortable with our modern understanding.
The book A New Stoicism by Lawrence Becker is the best attempt I've seen to modernize stoicism in line with modern philosophy and without the religious elements. However, it's pretty heavy going and fairly technical. I hope the book helps you out as much as it has helped me put things into perspective.
Stoicism is both empiricist and rationalist, and seems quite comfortable with our modern understanding. I’m not well read on Gödel or phenomenology, but fwiw, in Secundum Naturam, Hall asserts that Stoic logic avoids the higher-order logic that the Incompleteness Theorem targets.
@richardhawkins I've also noticed that every time I run into ambiguity in the classical Stoics, I can pull a clear answer from Becker. It's great to have a variant with the full theory worked out and written down.
How can it not be?
Do people now not control their own intentions? Is it no longer rational to be courageous in the face of your fears? Does wisdom no longer lead to more effective decision-making?
Is it no longer true than when a person informs their intentions with a study of logic, that they are able to live in accordance with the facts of the world around them?
The only thing I can think which might invalidate some aspect of Stoicism is the ready availability of dopaminergic drugs. Aside from this minor point, not one thing of Stoicism is hindred by the modern world, and certainly not by the vagueries of postmodernism.
Hmmm. I think "stoicism" deals with simple realities. A person who spends their time saying "I wish I had not done something I consider a mistake" is in error for the same reason all other people saying similar things are in error - because time moves forward.
A person who spends their time saying "this person I know is a fool, and their foolishness annoys me!" is wrong because, for him as all people, he controls only his own mind and not the minds of others.
Stoicism deals in these simple realities, all of which are as true today as they were in ancient Rome. I don't know if I'm on the dot but this is what I understood from your post.