Stoic Lessons for an Uncertain Future

Authored by: Nancy Sherman

Handbook of Philosophy of Education

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032000053
eBook ISBN: 9781003172246
Adobe ISBN:


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The Stoics teach us to be prepared for worst-case scenarios: pre-rehearse “the bads” or ills in life, so that we can better face the slings and arrows of fortune. They offer techniques for mitigating fear and cushioning against vulnerability in uncertain times. What is often missed in modern Stoicism is the idea that we are socially interdependent, and that resilience depends not just on individual will, but on social support. As we face increasing uncertainty in today's teaching environment, exacerbated by a pandemic, catastrophic climate change, persistent racism, and more, what are ancient Stoics’ lessons for modern resilience? Are Stoic methods of strengthening our will at odds with the Stoic sense of social connection? This chapter argues that they are not.

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