Celebrating Prof. Nancy Sherman: Free Excerpt from “Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience”

This week we celebrate Prof. Nancy Sherman, her works and her valuable contribution to modern philosophy. We’re truly honored to have her on our board of advisors. PAC also wishes to celebrate the paperback release of Sherman’s Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (Oxford University Press)—releasing June 1st, now available for preorder!

On Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience

How do we find calm in times of stress and uncertainty? How do we cope with sudden losses or find meaning in a world that can easily rob us of what we most value? Drawing on the wisdom of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others, Nancy Sherman’s Stoic Wisdom presents a compelling, modern Stoicism that teaches grit, resilience, and the importance of close relationships in addressing life’s biggest and smallest challenges.

A renowned expert in ancient and modern ethics, Sherman relates how Stoic methods of examining beliefs and perceptions can help us correct distortions in what we believe, see, and feel. Her study reveals a profound insight about the Stoics: They never believed, as Stoic popularizers often hold, that rugged self-reliance or indifference to the world around us is at the heart of living well. We are at home in the world, they insisted, when we are connected to each other in cooperative efforts. We build resilience and goodness through our deepest relationships. Bringing ancient ideas to bear on 21st century concerns―from workers facing stress and burnout to first responders in a pandemic, from soldiers on the battlefield to citizens fighting for racial justice―Sherman shows how Stoicism can help us fulfill the promise of our shared humanity. In nine lessons that combine ancient pithy quotes and daily exercises with contemporary ethics and psychology, Stoic Wisdom is a field manual for the art of living well.

Nancy Sherman goes far beyond the kind of ‘pen-and-ink philosophy’ that the Stoics had so little time for. In this book, she applies Stoicism where it is most needed–for our warriors and working people alike–and helps them become better and more resilient.

—Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Daily Stoic and Stillness is the Key

An excerpt from Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resiliencecourtesy of Oxford University Press

Available for preorder now!

pp. 110-111

For practicing Stoics like Seneca, not yet wise but committed to moral progress, sharing in reason is equally an emotionally laden experience, exemplified in supportive friendships, including epistolary relationships. In the Letters on Ethics, we have a record. We read of Seneca’s excitement in sending off a letter and his eagerness in receiving a response, his consolations in grief, his disclosures of his own suffering, his reports of the trivia of the day, and his earnest aspirations to constancy and wisdom. We get a sense of solidarity and empathy meant to sustain each side in hard times.

Seneca writes these letters in the last few years of his life, in political retirement, with mortality and the enmity of Nero on his mind. Anxiety and the search for calm swirl on the pages. There is a retreat away from externals to the inner life. But it is done with a friend. “When I devote myself to friends, I do not even then withdraw from myself.”

Inspiration comes from the giants of the past—Socrates demonstrating his steadfastness to his philosophical principles in his death, Cato’s cleaving to the path of virtue in the face of political ambition, Scipio and Cincinnatus in exemplary military leadership.

Paragons from history are part of the support system. We needn’t restrict our friends to the living, insists Seneca. Inspiration comes from the giants of the past—Socrates demonstrating his steadfastness to his philosophical principles in his death, Cato’s cleaving to the path of virtue in the face of political ambition, Scipio and Cincinnatus in exemplary military leadership. The demigod Hercules cuts a more complicated figure, as we shall soon see. For although exceptional, his glory-seeking makes for a toxic and unstable mix, however arduous his struggles.

Seneca tells us that the sage rises only as often as the phoenix, every 500 years or so. For critics, a sage so rare is too daunting a model to be emulated. But a sage who shows emotions and who also can be clothed in concrete, historical detail is a way to make what’s godly earthly. And that is a part of the Stoic strategy for resilience—we are to visualize exemplary models, including divine ones, who can teach us how to face adversity.

This is just what Seneca’s contemporary Philo does in his Hellenistic commentary on the Old Testament. Once again, imagine the moment when Sarah nervously laughed to herself in learning that she would give birth to a child. How does surprise, and frankly fear and disbelief, at being able to conceive at such an old age move from trepidation to joy? Sarah, as Stoic matriarch, demonstrates how it’s possible to loosen the grip of emotions that make her “stagger and shake” and come to feel steadier ones that bring inner calm and joy. There are no pointers here about technique. What we get is an example of hope: how anxiety about a most improbable and dangerous birth can gradually shift to trust in a higher authority and equanimity. That is the Stoic Bible lesson.

Connections with real or allegorical figures from the past, and friendships in the present, are social elements in building Stoic grit. Seneca’s letters are addressed to his younger friend, Gaius Lucilius Iunior. The letters are undisguised moral counsel, but they do their work through rapport building. There are no known return letters from Lucilius. This is a literary art form. Still, Lucilius’s presence is on the page in questions and answers, news about him from mutual friends, a relationship built through the imagined to and fro of anticipated and received letters. “Every time a letter comes . . . I am with you.” Seneca has his eye on posterity here—merited praise that he has “been the cause of good” of others. If glory lives on through these letters, it’s in part in the record of how the Stoics teach through a relationship, and continue to do so.


Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (Oxford University Press) paperback is now available for preorder! Releases June 1st, 2023!

Celebrating Prof. Nancy Sherman

Nancy Sherman, a prominent philosopher, author, and professor, holds a special place in the world of ethics, moral psychology, and Stoicism. Her profound contributions have illuminated the understanding and practicality of ancient Stoic philosophy in our modern lives, with a particular focus on military ethics and the profound moral dimensions of war.

Within the pages of her remarkable book, Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind published in 2005, Nancy Sherman delves into the profound connections between Stoic philosophy and the virtues essential to the military. In her exploration, she reveals how Stoic teachings possess the power to shape character, foster resilience, and guide ethical decision-making within the crucible of war and military service.

Yet, Nancy Sherman’s impact extends far beyond the confines of academia. Her extensive writings on moral injury, which encapsulates the psychological and moral anguish stemming from actions conflicting with one’s deeply held moral principles, have shed light on a critical aspect of human experience. In her poignant work, The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers, she delves into the profound moral and psychological challenges faced by soldiers in the aftermath of war, offering a glimmer of hope and the possibility of healing.

As a revered professor, Nancy Sherman has imparted her wisdom on philosophy and ethics to countless minds at Georgetown University, where she held the esteemed Distinguished Chair in Ethics. Furthermore, her invaluable service as a faculty member at the United States Naval Academy has allowed her to forge deep connections with military personnel, providing them with indispensable guidance and profound insights into the realms of moral resilience, moral injury, and military ethics.

Nancy Sherman’s remarkable contributions have solidified her as a revered figure within the realm of philosophy, leaving an indelible mark on the field. Her profound exploration of Stoic philosophy, particularly in relation to ethics and military virtues, has enriched our understanding of ancient wisdom and its practical application in modern life.

Through her extensive writings on moral injury and the psychological challenges faced by soldiers, Sherman has illuminated critical aspects of human experience, highlighting the profound moral dimensions of war and the path to healing. Her invaluable teachings and guidance have shaped the minds of countless individuals, fostering a deeper appreciation for philosophy’s role in shaping character, resilience, and ethical decision-making, solidifying her significance in the world of philosophy.

Thank you, Professor Sherman.

Nancy Sherman is a distinguished university professor and professor of philosophy at Georgetown University. She was also the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the United States Naval Academy.

Stoicism as Therapeia (θεραπεία)

As the dust settles on our post pandemic world, it finds itself grappling with widespread social unrest and pervasive economic uncertainty, in conjunction with our everyday struggles as individuals. It is here that the marriage of ancient wisdom and therapy emerges as a guiding light, offering timeless insights into the human condition. By weaving together the principles of therapy and ancient philosophy, we can embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and emerge more resilient.

Parthenon, Greece
Photo by Patrick on Unsplash

The Greek word “therapeia” (θεραπεία) is derived from the Greek verb “therapeuo” (θεραπεύω), which means “to serve” or “to attend to.” The ancient Greeks believed the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit, and therapy encompassed all aspects of holistic healing. Within Greek mythology, the gods themselves were often associated with therapeutic practices. For example, Apollo, the Greek god of healing, was often invoked for the restoration of physical and mental health. So, therapeia was sometimes used to describe the activities carried out in Apollo’s temples, where individuals sought healing through prayer, offerings, and ritual practices.

Therapy and ancient philosophy share a common goal: the pursuit of inner harmony and eudaimonia, or flourishing.

a row of stone pillars sitting next to each other
Photo by Thanos Gkirinis on Unsplash, Temple of Apollo Delphi, Greece

Therapy and ancient philosophy share a common goal: the pursuit of inner harmony and eudaimonia, or flourishing. Ancient philosophers believed that true happiness and fulfillment came not from external circumstances but from cultivating virtues and aligning one’s actions with one’s values. In a similar vein, therapy aims to help individuals find a sense of meaning and purpose, develop self-compassion, and build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Stoicism offers particularly relevant insights in the context of therapy. It teaches individuals to distinguish between what is within their control and what is not, and to focus their energy on the former. The philosophy also emphasizes the importance of accepting life’s uncertainties, managing emotions, and cultivating a sense of gratitude. These Stoic principles can be integrated into therapy to help individuals navigate difficulties, develop resilience, and foster a sense of tranquility amid the storms of life.

Stoicism and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Stoicism and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) share several similarities and have a significant relationship. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the connections between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, aiming to identify and modify negative patterns of thinking and behavior. Stoicism, on the other hand, is a philosophy of life and emphasizes the importance of reason, virtue, and acceptance of the things we cannot control. The main goal of Stoic-therapy is apatheia (ἀπάθεια) which is freedom from being bound to our irrational passions such as anger, fear, or sadness.

The bust of Seneca, in a niche (Lucas Vorsterman)

The relationship between Stoicism and CBT lies in their shared principles and practices. They both highlight the role of our thoughts in shaping our emotions and behaviors; and recognize that it is not external events themselves that cause distress, but rather our interpretation and perception of those events. Both approaches emphasize the power of examining and challenging our thoughts and beliefs to foster healthier emotional and behavioral responses.

…the Stoic notion of “cognitive distancing” encourages individuals to step back from their immediate reactions and consider alternative interpretations of events, which is similar to CBT’s technique of cognitive restructuring.

For example, the Stoic notion of “cognitive distancing” encourages individuals to step back from their immediate reactions and consider alternative interpretations of events, which is similar to CBT’s technique of cognitive restructuring. Stoicism also encourages individuals to focus on what is within their control, while accepting that there are things outside their control, aligning with CBT’s emphasis on identifying and changing the aspects of a situation that can be influenced.

When our keynote speaker for our Philosophy & Resilience event, Tim Lebon— CBT practitioner and author of 365 Ways to Be More Stoicwas asked about how ancient Stoicism has helped his clients he replied,

“Sometimes Stoicism can help dramatically. In 365 Ways, we give the example of one man whose life was turned around when he heard about the dichotomy of control and the Serenity Prayer. For the previous decade his life had been ruined by focusing on  past misfortunates over which he had no control. The DOC helped him realize that he had a choice – to stay in the past or move forward.

People struggling with long-term health conditions can be helped by similar ideas. They can’t control the fact that they have a particular condition but they can control how they respond to it.

Seneca’s short work On Anger contains so many valuable ideas and memorable phrases. It’s common to hear people to say that you need anger to fight injustice. ‘No!’, reply Seneca and the Stoics, you need courage and wisdom to do this, not anger.

Perhaps the biggest impact though is with people suffering from anger and frustration. Seneca’s short work On Anger contains so many valuable ideas and memorable phrases. It’s common to hear people say that you need anger to fight injustice. No!, reply Seneca and the Stoics, you need courage and wisdom to do this, not anger. The red mist obscures your ability to see things properly and fairly. Or, as Seneca puts it

The sword of justice is ill-placed in the hands of an angry person

Seneca, On Anger 1.19 …”


In this period of flux and unpredictability, CBT teaches a range of coping skills, such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and stress management. These strategies help individuals develop healthier ways of dealing with stress and adversity, reducing the negative impact on their resilience. It also offers constructive strategies to overcome our limits and fears, rooted in false beliefs, that inhibit us from moving forward in life. Behavioral modification in CBT encourages individuals to engage in activities that promote well-being and build resilience. By gradually increasing exposure to challenging situations, individuals can develop confidence and adaptive responses, strengthening their resilience over time.

Tim LeBon will be “Introducing the STOIC Framework to Help you Become More Resilient”, incorporating both Stoicism and CBT, this Saturday, May 20th at 12pm EDT at Choose Not to Be Harmed: Philosophy & ResilienceHis book 365 Ways to Be More Stoic is a part of our grand prize giveaway of a 5-book hardcover set of the 365 series! (courtesy of John Murray Press)

Three runner ups will receive a hardback copy of Michael Fontaine’s How to Grieve: An Ancient Guide to the Lost Art of Consolation inspired by Cicero! (courtesy of Princeton University Press)


Together, CBT and Stoicism provide powerful tools to navigate uncertainty, build resilience, and find inner harmony in the face of adversity.

Join our keynote Tim LeBon and other living testaments to resilience like Karen Duffy, Prof. Nancy Sherman and more as they share insights into cultivating resilience through a Stoic lens at this Saturday’s virtual event, Choose Not to Be Harmed: Philosophy and Resilience. Hosted by Donald Robertson and Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom Weekly.

It is FREE to register. However, you also have the option of donating an amount of your choosing. Your generosity keeps us putting on these events. Donations also go towards the development of an on-site location near the original site of Plato’s Academy in Akademia Platonos, Athens.


“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.” —Marcus Aurelius

We look forward to seeing you this Sat, May 20th at 12pm EDT!

Welcome to Plato’s Library

It is our pleasure to announce a brand new column in the Plato’s Academy Centre newsletter, called Plato’s Library.

Visit Plato’s Library

Plato’s Library will consist of bi-weekly posts containing exclusive excerpts from recent and forthcoming books on ancient philosophy, and related subjects. We have carefully selected this passages in consultation with publishers to give you a taste of the high-value content written by leading experts in the field. Some of these passages are advance previews from books that are not yet published — so you get a sneak peek at forthcoming titles. The Plato’s Academy Centre have been able to arrange this especially for our Substack subscribers because of our strong links with senior figures in the publishing industry.

Full access to this column is for our paying subscribers only, but free subscribers will receive brief previews of the content. Below you’ll find links to three of the excerpts recently published. Please comment on Substack, letting us and the authors know what you think. Thank you, once again, for your support. The Plato’s Academy Centre is a nonprofit organization. We wouldn’t be able to achieve our goals without you, our loyal subscribers!

Thank you for reading Plato’s Academy Centre Newsletter. This post is public so feel free to share it.

Comment on these three excerpts…

How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor


Below you can read an exclusive excerpt courtesy of Princeton University Press from Michael Fontaine’s new book, How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor. Is it possible for jokes to win over a hostile room, a seemingly unwinnable argument, or even an election? According to Cicero, the answer is a resounding yes.

Read full story

Plato’s Republic: A Ladybird Expert Book

This is an excerpt from Plato’s Republic: A Ladybird Expert Book reproduced by kind permission of the author, Prof. Angie Hobbs, and her publisher, Penguin. Philosophers, sophists, and alternative facts Why is Plato so committed to the existence of knowledge? Why is he not prepared to countenance the possibility that humans might have to withhold judgement?

Read full story

From ‘365 Ways to Be More Stoic’

How would you like to learn to be more Stoic? The latest book from Tim LeBon, research director of Modern Stoicism and cognitive-behavioral therapist, is called 365 Ways to Be More Stoic. So, what, according to the Stoics, is under our direct control? Less than most of us think… The problem is we spend so much time trying to control other things.

Book Giveaway Update: Philosophy & Resilience

Thanks to John Murray Press and Princeton University Press, we’re now offering more books in our giveaway for Saturday, May 20th’s Choose Not to Be Harmed: Philosophy & Resilience than any other event giveaway we’re hosted! There will now be FOUR lucky registered attendees that will receive hardback books!

Philosophy and Resilience Tickets, Sat, May 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

(Please note: We will send a form to every email address after the event; and we will select winners at random to those who have provided valid email addresses)

Grand prize is an entire hardback set of the 365 series including

  • 365 Ways to Develop Mental Toughness
  • 365 Ways to Live Mindfully
  • 365 Ways to Save the Planet
  • 365 Ways to Have a Good Day

and the recently released and 5-star reviewed

  • 365 Ways to Be More Stoic—written by one of our esteemed guest speakers, Tim LeBon!

“Spend a year with Tim LeBon learning ways to be more Stoic. It may change your life, for the better.”Massimo Pigliucci, Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York, author of How to Be a Stoic

3 runner-up winners will receive a hardback copy of How to Grieve: An Ancient Guide to the Lost Art of Consolation!

Inspired by Marcus Tullius Cicero and translated by another one of our honored guest speakers, Michael Fontaine!

“[How to Grieve] offers an engaging read . . . and will certainly make this fascinating text easily accessible.” —Catherine Steel, Classics for All

Join our exclusive online event on philosophy and resilience, featuring a special program of renowned authors like Tim LeBon, Michael Fontaine, Nancy Sherman, Donald Robertson, Karen Duffy and more

Philosophy and Resilience Tickets, Sat, May 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

During this event, each speaker will provide you with valuable knowledge and captivating insights into philosophy as a means to cultivate personal strength and resilience. You will learn from real-life examples, receive practical advice, and gain access to effective strategies that can help you build your own resilience. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn ways of tapping into the freedom that comes with choosing not to be harmed.

Hosted by Donald Robertson and Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom Weekly.

Although we’ve made this event free to make it accessible to all, your donations keeps us hosting events like these. Your generosity also funds the development of an on-site location of Plato’s Academy Centre, near the original site of Plato’s Academy in Athens.

If your friends or loved ones are struggling with the disruptions of the world, including economic uncertainty and rising political polarization, and could use a healthy strategy to help cultivate resilience, please share the link below:


If you’re not available on the day, there’s no need to worry. A recording of the event will be sent to all attendees post airing.

We look forward to seeing you on May 20th!

Philosophy and Resilience Tickets, Sat, May 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

Speaker Announcement: Marcus Aurelius Anniversary Event

Plato’s Academy Centre is honored to welcome author William O. Stephens as a guest speaker at our event commemorating Marcus Aurelius’ birthday, Marcus Aurelius Anniversary on Wed, April 26th—featuring Donald Robertson and Dr. John Sellars. The event is a symposium that will examine, discuss, and celebrate the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, as well as its practical relevance in today’s world.

William O. Stephens holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Creighton University in Nebraska and specializes in various fields such as ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, ethics, animals, and the environment. He is an accomplished author with a focus on philosophy, having written several books including Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the PerplexedStoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom, and Epictetus’s ‘Enchiridion’: A New Translation and Guide to Stoic Ethics. Additionally, he has an interest in Stoicism as a way of life, as well as Stoicism’s relationship with popular culture.

Plato’s Academy Centre invites all individuals to participate in a complimentary virtual event held on Wed April 26th in honor of Marcus Aurelius’ birthday. Even if you cannot attend the live event, you can register now and receive a link to the recorded video.

Plato’s Academy Centre Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


While the event is free, donations to support the nonprofit Plato’s Academy Centre are welcome and greatly appreciated. Your contribution will aid in the organization and execution of similar events in the future.

Plato’s Academy would once again like to thank William O. Stephens for joining our roster and offering his valuable insight.

Come celebrate the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius with us!

Announcing Marcus Aurelius Anniversary Event

Join our free virtual event on 26th April, to mark the birthday of the Stoic philosopher

You are invited to join our special symposium on the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, the famous Stoic Roman Emperor. This virtual event, hosted by The Plato’s Academy Centrewill take place on 26th April, to commemorate his birthday. Register today, via EventBrite, and join Donald Robertson and Dr. John Sellars, as they discuss what we can learn from the Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius to improve our lives today, in the modern world.

John is an academic philosopher, currently a Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. He is also the chair of Modern Stoicism, and on the board of the Aurelius Foundation. Donald and John have both written several books about Stoicism, including recent ones on Marcus Aurelius.

John is the author of Marcus Aurelius for Routledge’s Philosophy in the Ancient World series, wrote an introduction for Farquharson’s translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius for Macmillan Collector’s Libraryand he is the editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Donald has written three books on Marcus Aurelius: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, a self-help book based on him; Verissimus, a graphic novel about his life; and the forthcoming biography of him for Yale University Press’ Ancient Lives series.

Last Chance to Register for Philosophy & Politics

How Can We Save Rational Discourse

This is the last chance to register for our How Can We Save Rational Discourse: Philosophy & Politics, airing live TOMORROW March 11th! All registrants are eligible to win a signed copy of Tom Morris’, The Everyday Patriot!

This event is completely free of charge, but you can donate to our nonprofit if you want to help us to continue providing similar events in the future. Not available or in a different time zone? Don’t worry as recordings of all presentations will be provided afterwards if you book your tickets now.

In today’s society, it seems like we are living in a world that is becoming increasingly polarized. This division can be seen in politics, social issues, and even personal beliefs. This growing divide is not only concerning, but it also has the potential to have disastrous consequences. The question then becomes, what can we do to save rational discourse and bring civility back into the conversation?

At How Can We Save Rational Discourse, top academics and authors will come together to discuss how we can use philosophy to bring civility and rational discourse back into the political arena. The event will explore questions such as how philosophy can help us understand the roots of political polarization, how it can be used to bridge divides, and how it can help us develop more nuanced and thoughtful approaches to policy issues. This event on March 11th provides a unique opportunity to explore how philosophy can help us to do just that.

This is the last chance to register for the event, so don’t miss out on being a part of this important conversation!

A few comments from our last event

  • “Plato Academy’s virtual events are a pleasure to watch. I learn so much, so fast!”
  • “Ancient philosophy for modern leadership is a critical event for today’s leaders to show how some challenges are persisting throughout the ages and that virtue, in contrast to profits, is timeless. I’d recommend it to every leader and manager who wants to achieve positive social impact.”

If you’re finding it challenging to handle the highly divisive and polarizing nature of politics, rest assured that you’re not alone. We encourage you to advocate for the principles of composed, reasoned, and constructive discussions with individuals who are significant to you, including your family, friends, or coworkers. (Simply enter NODONATION if you don’t wish to donate to the nonprofit.)

We value your support and look forward to welcoming you to the event!

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Thank you for being among our initial blog subscribers. After having recently introduced our free Substack newsletter and podcast, we are now able to announce an optional paid subscription plan.

To reward our existing subscribers, we’re delighted to offer you a free 90-day trial! This special deal is only available until 14th March – so don’t miss your chance!

Signing up means that, in addition, you will:

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You also have the option of choosing to become a Founding Member of the Plato’s Academy Centre, for which we will recognize your contribution, and provide you with access to inside information on our project, and our most exclusive content.

Last year, we were proud, in addition to launching our program of virtual events, to be able to assist in organizing a historic event in Plato’s Academy Park, in collaboration with the Aurelius Foundation and Young Presidents Organization. The Greek ministers for Development and Culture gave us their support, as did the US ambassador to Greece, and we were honoured to have the mayor of Athens address our audience in Akadimia Platonos Park.

Donald Robertson, Justin Stead, Kostas Bakoyannis, Pat Cash, and Michalis Michael, at Plato’s Academy Park

We were also pleased to have our nonprofit startup covered in the press, including a feature on the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Thanks, as ever, for your support!

Donald Robertson

President of the Plato’s Academy Centre

Why Did We Change Our Event?

How Can We Save Rational Discourse

Extreme partisanship dominates. You must choose a team according to news networks, social media and even our own friends and family. This is not only a most unhealthy lens, but has led to the whole of society being uninformed and misinformed. It has even led to acts of violence as extreme as domestic terrorism.

The topic of politics is such a hot-button that it’s avoided at all costs for fear of the fall out. Being our authentic selves promotes our flourishing, happiness, and freedom, though! If we lose that freedom, we’ve lost who we are and have chosen to let those who anger us become our master, as Epictetus puts it.

It was after a meeting with our PAC Team that it was decided that the title of our March 11th event, Stoicism and Politics: How Can We Save Civility, be changed to How Can We Save Rational Discourse: Philosophy & Politics. We felt this better encapsulated the essence of our message: that regardless of philosophical lens, society is in dire need of restoring civility when discussing politics.

Join us and other modern day philosophy academics and authors as we discuss in Socratic fashion, How Can We Save Rational Discourse: Philosophy & Politics. EVERYONE is welcome and encouraged to attend!Our Finalized Run of Show

Civic Friendship & Politics as an Act of Love, Spencer Klavan, author of How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for Five Modern Crises, associate editor at the Claremont Institute, host of Western Civilization podcast with the Daily Wire

Stoicism and the Friend-Enemy Distinction, Pat McGeehan, member of the West Virginia House of Delegates (US), author of Stoicism and the Statehouse

Stoicism, the Enlightenment, Self-Othering, and Civility, Prof. Matthew Sharpe, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Deakin University, author of Stoicism, Bullying, and BeyondThe Other Enlightenment: Self-estrangement, Race, and Gender; series coeditor, Thinkers and Politics

What does Stoicism bring to the ‘diversity’ table?, Dr. Kai Whiting, Postdoctoral Researcher, Université catholique de Louvain, author of Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living

Save Yourself, Save Your City, Diane Kalen-Sukra, founder of the Kalen Academy civic leadership academy, author of Save Your City: How Toxic Culture Kills Community & What to Do About It

Aristotle and the Stoics Meet Rock and Roll: A Return to Rational Discourse in Politics, Dr. Tom Morris, author of The Stoic Art of Living and The Everyday Patriot , Chairman, Morris Institute for Human Values

Solon of Athens on the Art of Positive-Sum Negotiation, Josiah Ober, American historian of ancient Greece and classical political theorist, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Professor in honor of Constantine Mitsotakis, and professor of classics and political science, at Stanford University

Panel: Stoicism, Civility, and Politics, hosted by Anya Leonard. Panel includes: Justin Stead, Entrepreneur & Investor, CEO Radley London, Founder of Aurelius Foundation; Mick Mulroy, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for the Middle East. Senior Fellow for National Security and Defense Policy with the Middle East Institute, an Analyst for ABC News, and co-founder of the Lobo Institute; Alexandra O. Hudson, author of The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves, founder of Civic Renaissance

KeynoteHubris Syndrome, Rt Hon. Lord David Owen, co-founder of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), member of the House of Lords, author of The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair and The Intoxication of Power and Riddle, Mystery and EnigmaTwo Hundred Years of British-Russian Relations

Our hosts will be Donald Robertson, the president of the Plato’s Academy Centre, and Anya Leonard, the founder and director of the Classical Wisdom website

If you’re feeling stifled by extreme politics, know that you’re not alone. Please share this post and the message of rational, peaceful, and meaningful discourse with loved ones, friends, and colleagues by sharing the link below.


Thank you so much for your support. We can’t wait to see you there!

Announcing the new Plato’s Academy Centre Podcast

We’re delighted to announce that we have just launched a new podcast hosted on Substack, which is also distributed via Apple and Google Podcasts.

Plutarch on Resilience by Donald Robertson Philosophy and Classics

What can we learn about emotional resilience from Plutarch’s classic On Peace of Mind? Practical advice from Plutarch on putting values into action, cognitive distancing, cultivating gratitude, and more.This is the full audio recording of Donald’s presentation from the Plato’s Academy Centre Philosophy and Resilience event on 20th May 2023. As there were some glitches with the streaming software, Donald re-recorded the whole presentation and the sound has been edited and quality improved. The recording also includes Lalya Lloyd’s reading of a passage from Plutarch, which contains a verse from Euripides’ lost tragedy, Bellerophon, read by Lalya in ancient Greek. Plato's Academy Centre Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.Watch the slides that accompany this presentation (optional). We are making the recording available to everyone in this way to make up for the difficulty some had watching the presentation during the event.Thank you for reading Plato's Academy Centre Newsletter. This post is public so feel free to share it. Get full access to Plato's Academy Centre Newsletter at platosacademycentre.substack.com/subscribe
  1. Plutarch on Resilience by Donald Robertson
  2. William O. Stephens on Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius
  3. Matthew Sharpe on Stoicism, the Enlightenment, and Civility
  4. The Socratic Method
  5. Spencer Klavan: Civic Friendship & Politics as an Act of Love