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Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons For Modern Resilience

On a popular view ancient Stoicism is not so much a philosophy as a collection of life hacks for overcoming anxiety, curbing anger, and finding calm.  It has become the new Zen, and a mega-industry for consumers seeking self-help.  In Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience, Nancy Sherman argues this distorts the full promise of Stoicism. The me-focused view misses ancient Stoicism’s emphasis on our flourishing as social selves, connected locally and globally, through virtue. If the Stoics are worth reading, it’s because they constantly exhort us to rise to our potential — through reason, cooperation, and selflessness.

Date & Time

Thursday
Sep. 23, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

Space in the Zoom webinar is available on a first-come first-serve basis and fills up very quickly, if you are unable to join the session or receive an error message, you can still watch on this page or on the NHC's Facebook Page once the event begins.

On a popular view ancient Stoicism is not so much a philosophy as a collection of life hacks for overcoming anxiety, curbing anger, and finding calm.  It has become the new Zen, and a mega-industry for consumers seeking self-help.  In Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience, Nancy Sherman argues this distorts the full promise of Stoicism. The me-focused view misses ancient Stoicism’s emphasis on our flourishing as social selves, connected locally and globally, through virtue. If the Stoics are worth reading, it’s because they constantly exhort us to rise to our potential — through reason, cooperation, and selflessness.

Nancy Sherman is University Professor and Professor of Philosophyat Georgetown University. She served as the Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy. Sherman received her PhD from Harvard University in ancient philosophy, an MLitt from University of Edinburgh, BA from Bryn Mawr College, and has research training in psychoanalysis from the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. She is the author of Stoic Wisdom (2021), Afterwar (2015), The Untold War (2010) (a New York Times Editor’s Choice), and Stoic Warriors (2005).Sherman was a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of many other awards for her work, including a Wilson Center Fellowship and appointment as a Public Policy Scholar.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more