Monday, October 03, 2016

More on Massimo Pigliucci

I've been looking online at Pigliucci's work - his blogs, Youtube videos, published work etc. There's a lot out there - I wonder that he had time to drop in to the Philosophy-in-Manhattan meet up on Sunday.

Pigliucci identifies as a Stoic and has a blog called How to be a Stoic and I found this especially interesting:
Stoic practice. And we finally get to the crux of the matter: how, exactly, does one practice Stoicism nowadays? There are a number of modern Stoic practices, or “spiritual” exercises, inspired by the writings of the ancients. Of course, different combinations will work for different people, but these are the ones I do regularly:
* Morning meditation: as soon as I get up I find a quiet, not brightly lit spot in my apartment, seat comfortably, and mentally go over the potential challenges awaiting me during the day ahead, reminding myself about which of the four cardinal virtues I may be called to exercise in response to those challenges.
So what are the four cardinal virtues?
The Stoics thought that the good life (eudaimonia, often translated as “flourishing”) consisted in cultivating one’s moral virtues in order to become a good person. The four cardinal virtues recognized by the Stoics were: Wisdom (sophia), Courage (andreia), Justice (dikaiosyne), and Temperance (sophrosyne).

One of the guys from the Partially Examined Life crew had nice things to say about Pigliucci in 2011:
What I really like about Pigliucci is his scientifically-minded intellectual honesty, and the fact that he is more interested in honoring the practice of science than worshiping its fetishized ideal. In other words: his determination to follow evidence and arguments wherever they take him, even when they lead him to conclusions concerning the limits of scientific inquiry that many partisans find so threatening to their ... faith.