Comment by simc on Existential Angst Factory · 2009-09-29T07:52:38.230Z · LW · GW

In ancient Greece philosophy was not only a discipline for academics, but a way of life. Here is a quote from Hadot who wrote a book called "Philosophy as a Way of Life":

"All schools agree that man, before his philosophical conversion, is in a state of unhappy disquiet. Consumed by worries, torn by passions, he does not live a genuine life, nor is he truly himself. All schools also agree that man can be delivered from this state."

In Greek there is a word "eudimonia" which means a life which is generally happy and free from anxiety. The Greek schools of philosophy claimed that this state could be reached by living in accordance with their doctrines.

What makes these philosophies attractive to us today is that they provide a way of living that doesn't claim to be revealed by gods but was invented by humans. An advantage of this is that we are able to hold a personal opinion about what parts of the philosophy are useful today.

If you are interested you should check out:



*Aristotle's Nicomachian Ethics

Each promises eudimonia but provide different ideas about how to obtain it. I don't there can be perfect philosophy but I think a lot of happiness and freedom from existential anxiety can be achieved by choosing as a guide to life a 'good enough' philosophy.