Rod Dreher

Mark Vernon created a fun online quiz to help you figure yours out. Here’s mine, along with a Vernon online video bit about him:

Your recommended philosophy-guru is ZENO OF CITIUM.Key fact: He taught in a stoa, the Athenian supermarket, and hence founded the school of philosophy called Stoicism.Must have: An interest in everyday life, for it is there that you learn life’s big lessons.Key promise: An ability to face anything, no matter how disastrous.Key peril: To be “stoical” is to turn your back on passion.Most likely to say: “If you have integrity, no-one can harm you.”Least likely to say: “Forget prudence! It won’t help you anyway.”

Vernon says in this short clip that Zeno taught in the shops, in part because he thought how you shopped said something about who you are. Funny — I had a dream once that I was teaching a philosophy class at Central Market, over by the olive oil aisle. Seriously!The only question of Mark’s I was uncertain about how to answer was the first, which asks if it’s more profitable to think about how to endure suffering, or how to be happy. I certainly spend a lot more of my time thinking about happiness, but that’s because I am blessed not to have had to endure much suffering, at least not yet. But as a general matter, I think it’s more important for philosophy to consider suffering than happiness, so I said “to endure suffering” the first time. But when I re-took the quiz, and answer “to be happy,” I got a different guru. Click past the jump to see

Your recommended philosophy-guru is ARISTOTLE.Key fact: The star pupil of Plato.Must have: A desire to study the world and see what it reveals.Key promise: The good life, which comes from living a virtuous life.Key peril: The virtuous life can be tough.Most likely to say: “Everything has its proper place.”Least likely to say: “Science is where humanity went wrong.”

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