'A Free Book: Stoic Notes by Rymke Wiersma'

A Free Book: Stoic Notes

Stoic Notes Cover

by Rymke Wiersma

Stoicism is usually associated with enduring the world as it is rather than changing it. Nevertheless, a stoic attitude to life is primarily an active attitude, with the aim of ‘living well’. The Stoics were far ahead of their time with their ideas about equality between people, cosmopolitanism and the denial of the existence of conflicts of interest. These and other ideas from Stoic ethics are both challenging and supportive, not only for striving for personal happiness but also for improving the world, in other words improving relationships between people.

We can therefore obtain inspiration from the Early Stoa in at least two ways: by learning to deal ‘stoically’ with setbacks, and by finding out about what Stoics mean by a good life.

Not just the Stoics, but also the Cynics and the Sceptics were a source of information for the notes in this book. A book about personal happiness and improving the world, and how these goals can strengthen rather than obstruct each other.

Real happiness is not caused by circumstances but by the activity of thinking. It is not achieved by consuming or navel-gazing, but by an active commitment to living well, and therefore by a commitment for a better world.

All the same, there is at least one very favourable circumstance that can affect you: coming into contact with the ideas behind stoicism.

Stoic Notes – Click Here to Download the PDF

The translation is by Stuart Field, and is also available from the Atlanta website

Rymke Wiersma (Middelburg 1954) studied philosophy in Utrecht for a few years after being trained as a social worker. Together with a small collective she established a printing house, which later became the publishing house Atalanta. Its target audience are ‘thinkers’ as wel as ‘doers’. Rymke writes: “A lot of people who want to change the world go about it rather impulsively, while the people who delve into philosohpy often forget the we are not solely spectators, but also actors on the world’s stage. Atalanta tries to reach both these groups of people with it publications.

16 thoughts on “'A Free Book: Stoic Notes by Rymke Wiersma'”

  1. The material seems brilliant! Is there a way to transform it to a format where one page in the file corresponds to one page in the book? – that way, I can put it in my Kindle and read it. Otherwise, the print is too small.

  2. It’s great to have this book available free, but why limit it to PDF format? I’d love to have it as an epub, if that is possible, since this makes the book a lot easier to read on mobile devices. If the raw text were made available, I would be happy to produce an epub for the benefit of all.

    1. We would love to publish it as an epub book, but never have done it, and our Indesign version is too old to make epub files. The problem is in the styles in the layout, so a ‘raw text’ is very raw indeed. Much is lost. I’ll try to find a way around the problems.
      Weia Reinboud (Atalanta)

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