How Stoicism Can Cultivate Joy
Philosopher William B. Irvine’s journey from a youth spent in mining towns in Montana and Nevada to becoming a renowned advocate of Stoicism is a remarkable one. Beginning his academic career in a two-room schoolhouse, Irvine continued on to earn a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Michigan, followed by an M.A. and a Ph.D. in philosophy from U.C.L.A. He ultimately landed at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio, where he taught for nearly four decades until his retirement, in 2021, when he was granted emeritus status. Along the way, his interests have evolved from “pure” philosophy to interdisciplinary subjects, including the ethics of finance, parenting, desire, and more, and he’s written books such as A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (2007), Aha!: The Moments of Insight that Shape Our World (2014), and most recently, The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient (2019). Though he no longer gives classroom lectures, he continues to spread his wisdom through his writing, which aims to make philosophy accessible to the intellectually curious, no matter their academic background.