Stoic Philosophy: Friendship

I released a new episode of my Stoic Philosophy series on the topic of friendship. Listen on SoundCloud and YouTube.

What does a good friendship look like? Who should we admit into our circle of friends? Which qualities should we look for in people? How should we engage with our friends? What are some benefits of social relationships? How can we share our thoughts and feelings with friends? How many friends should we have? Should we, after failure to acquire good relationships, isolate ourselves and give up? I’ll discuss these items and more alongside passages from Seneca’s Letters From A Stoic.

My Stoic Philosophy series explores the philosophical tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom. Stoic Philosophy was popularized by Ancient Greek and Roman thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca. For the Stoics, a main focus in life is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and having contentment through casting away anxiety and certain desires. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset in order to have a better quality of life. Even though many Stoic writers are centuries removed from us, their wisdom endures and is extremely relevant to our time.

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Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia. He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events. Vacula received bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University's graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County's Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher's assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.