Jannik Lindquist

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Hello :-) My name is Jannik. I write about Socrates and the Stoics. 

I have a degree in philosophy and classics from the University of Copenhagen - and I have been thinking about ancient Greek and Roman philosophy for more than thirty years now. For almost four years I have been running a so-called Collection on Google+ about Socrates and the Stoics in general and Seneca in particular.  Almost 150.000 people from all over the world are following the collection and there are lots of interesting discussions. The purpose of my profile here on Patreon is to give you a chance to support my work on these topics financially and, thus, to give me a chance to commit more time to take part in the debate on my collection on Google+ and to produce more interesting content. 

What's it all about?
The focus of my work is the ancient Greek and Roman philosophy of happiness (eudaimonia) which was the most widespread philosophical tradition in the Western world from when it was first extensively introduced in the philosophical dialogues of Plato in Athens in the fourth century BC all the way up to the writings of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the late second century CE. In other words, a period of more than five hundred years. Since the core concepts and questions in this tradition was defined by the Socrates we meet in Plato's dialogues - and since all the following thinkers in the tradition saw themselves as followers of Socrates - it seems to be both fair and informative to call it the Socratic tradition.

So why do I focus almost exclusively on Stoicism rather than, say, Aristotle or Epicurus - or simply on Socrates?
Because I think Stoicism is the most advanced and well-argued version of the Socratic philosophy of happiness.

But why, then, do I focus almost exclusively on the Roman Stoic Seneca and not on, say, Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius?
Here are parts of the answer:

"Seneca remains, for us today no less than for the revivers of Stoicism in the sixteenth century, our best representative of ancient Stoicism. In his case as in few others we have the luxury of reading, with their full contexts, whole works of philosophy by a Stoic. He is still an excellent, indeed indispensable, source for those who may wish to learn about, and learn from, Stoicism and its outlook on life"

- Seneca - Moral and Political Essays. Edited and translated by John M. Cooper and J. F. Procopé, Cambridge University Press, 1995, location 446

"Seneca’s writings constitute the fullest surviving evidence for the Stoic view of the emotions",

- David Konstan, "Senecan emotions", in "The Cambridge Companion to Seneca", ed. by Shadi Bartsch, Cambridge University Press, 2015, p. 174. 

I think of Seneca's writings to Lucilius - his letters and the work "On Natural Questions" - as one very comprehensive introduction to Stoicism and I am currently mostly focusing on the letters in this collection. I highly recommend the very recent (2015) complete translation of the letters done by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long for Chicago University Press.

Does all this mean that I believe that Seneca is right about everything?
The answer is no :-) I don't even think it is enough to read Seneca to get a full picture of Stoicism. Cicero is extremely important as well - both as a source for orthodox Stoicism and as a very intelligent writer thinking about Stoicism. The other sources for Greek Stoicism are extremely important as well. I highly recommend Brad Inwood's collection of sources for early Stoicism, "The Stoics Reader". It's a very comprehensive selection of texts with great comments and notes.

My collection about Stoicism on Google+

Thank you for your interest!
Best wishes
4 of 1000 patrons
Reaching this goal will enable me to work one day less at my dayjob each week and commit the time to answer more comments on my Google+ Collection and to write more about Stoicism in order to provide you with even more interesting food for thought. This could, for example, be articles, book reviews and videos.
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