How to Grieve: From Cicero and Stoicism to Modern practices, How can philosophy help us handle loss? A panel discussion.
In 45 BCE, the Roman statesman Cicero fell to pieces when his beloved daughter, Tullia, died from complications of childbirth. But from the depths of despair, Cicero fought his way back. In an effort to cope with his loss, he wrote a consolation speech―not for others, as had always been done, but for himself.
And it worked. Cicero’s Consolation was something new in literature, equal parts philosophy and motivational speech. Drawing on the full range of Greek philosophy and Roman history, Cicero convinced himself that death and loss are part of life, and that if others have survived them, we can, too; resilience, endurance, and fortitude are the way forward.
This panel discusses the revelations of Cicero’s consolation and how they relate to both the ancient philosophy of Stoicism and modern behavioral cognitive therapy. All with the aim of finding a better understanding on how to grieve.
Watch eminent professors and authors, Michael Fontaine, Massimo Pigliucci, and Donald Robertson for this thought-provoking, important conversation. Hosted by Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom.
About the Speakers: Michael Fontaine is Professor in the Department of Classics at Cornell University, New York and author of many books and articles. His work has been reviewed in countless publications including Forbes, The Spectator, The Daily Beast, The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Mail, and The Wine Spectator. He is the author of several books including: How to tell a Joke, The Pig War, How to Drink: A classical Guide to Imbibing, and most recently, How to Grieve: An Ancient Guide to the Lost Art of Consolation.
Massimo Pigliucci is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York and author of many books, including How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life, and most recently, How to Be Good: What Socrates Can Teach Us About the Art of Living Well. Pigliucci has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Philosophy and his research interests include the philosophy of science and the practical application of ancient philosophies.
Donald Robertson is a writer, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist and trainer, specializing in teaching evidence-based psychological skills and is the president of Plato’s Academy Center. He is known as an expert on the relationship between modern psychotherapy (CBT) and classical Greek and Roman philosophy. Donald is the author of several books and many articles on philosophy, psychotherapy, and psychological skills training, including How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, and his most recent project, Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, a graphic novel has just been released.
Anya Leonard is the Founder and Director of Classical Wisdom, a site dedicated to bringing ancient wisdom to modern minds. Co-founded in 2013 with Bill Bonner, in conjunction with Les Belles Lettres, the French publishing house. Since inception, Classical Wisdom has grown into one of the largest online independent publishers dedicated to the ancient world. Anya studied philosophy and comparative literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, a Great Books program, and received her MA in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. She has recently published a children’s book, Sappho: The Lost Poetess, dedicated to the life, works and remarkable recent discovery of a poem written by the 7th century Poetess, Sappho.