…is there a difference?

Stupid questions

I have not yet come across the Stoic ‘rule’ regarding stupid questions but I will look for something appropriate before I finish this article.

As a middling student of a comprehensive school in the 70’s & 80’s I missed the Philosophy lessons. Not that I skipped them, just that they were not on offer to me. I probably would have skipped them if they had been available!

Since then, the closest I have come to the study of philosophy is reading a few books by Alain De Botton. I was reading them for interest not to study philosophy.

Google search – stoicism vs stoic philosophy?

Now, when I am starting a journey into the world of the Stoics, I am not sure whether I am interested in Stoicism or Stoic Philosophy. I don’t even know whether they are one and the same.

I hit Google (not the only search engine but the most used in this house) with a search – the results didn’t help much at first sight (see screen shot for the results I got).

Reading the search results…

I assume that most people have a similar approach to reading the results of a search. I look at the first 10 or so for an exact match to my question. If there is one – that gets the click. If not I scan the results for the most promising – giving more weight to the higher results.

In this case there was no direct match so:

  1. Wikipedia – Stoicism: skipped because I had previously looked at the page and didn’t remember anything directly answering my question.
  2. DailyStoic – What is Stoicism: again skipped, again read it previously
  3. Donald Robertson –¬†What’s the difference between stoicism and Stoicism: OK, started here! Not a direct answer to my question but at least asking a similar form of question.

What’s the difference between stoicism and Stoicism?

Bingo! DR answers both his and my questions, although I have to extrapolate a little to get mine answered.

Stoicism is the Stoic Philosophy (my paraphrase of his conculsion)
stoicism is the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

Crash Course in Stoicism

DR offers a Crash Course in Stoicism. 10 minutes seemed like a good investment prospect before I started. It was, concise but covered a wide view of Stoicism. It also provided, among other things a recommended reading list for beginners and a list of Stoic Communities.

So, Stoicism is the Stoic Philosophy

Based on this short exercise that is my conclusion. For now I will let the matter rest but will revisit it if anything is thrown up in later research which contradicts the statement.


If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

stoicism vs stoic philosophy - search results from Google