Question every opinion. Let only your reason be the judge of your truths.
The Introduction to Stoic Philosophy provides an overview of the world in which Stoic philosophy took shape, and offers a survey of the nature of its ideas.
The Disciplines explain the three elements of thought to Stoic philosophical practice. The Three Disciplines also inform the Stoic Penknife Exercises. The Disciplines are the secret which gives dynamism and rhythm to Stoic writings such as Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. In this part we'll not only learn their internal structure but also start using them to interpret Marcus Aurelius and to practice our own exercises and write our own quotations.
A quick introduction to the ancient school of philosophy behind the application.
The Discipline of Assent corresponds to the activity of judgement. The act of reasoning judgment -- Choosing to assent or not to assent to an impression about the world -- is our freedom. The Practice of the Discipline of Assent permits the Stoic to free himself from false beliefs and contradictory judgements. It restores and develops the power of the mind. It is the blade of the Stoic Penknife with which we operate on our relationship with the world around us.
It addresses our relationship with human reason and its internal laws.
The Discipline of Desire corresponds to the activity of desire, i.e., it regards the things that are not in our power. The Practice of this Discipline allows us to develop autonomy from external objects, ensuring imperturbability to the mind and therefore bringing calm and serenity to the soul.
It addresses our relationship with the entirety of Nature, with the eternal laws of the Cosmos.
The Discipline of Action corresponds to the activity of Impulse (to action) and considers the interconnections, dependencies and feeling of belonging that the Stoic has with respect to others. This refers not only to her relationship with other humans and human institutions (family, politics, friendship, etc.), but also to biological systems such as her own body or the ecosystem.
Using this Discipline, the Stoic can consciously regulate her agency in the world, because the Discipline helps her to find her kinships (animal, social, rational communities), which are required to develop her feelings of meaningfulness, belonging, caring and loving. Here we find the ethical core of stoic philosophy.