Jan 28 • 9M

Marcus Aurelius on Opinions #170

A History of Philosophy in Quotes

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Dear friends of Daily Philosophy,

last year I asked for your votes on what we should be talking about this year. Many of you voted for a short history of philosophy through its famous quotes. And this, right here, is the first instalment of this new series. But don’t worry; I will still mix this series up with other posts to keep things interesting.

Over this year, we will be going over some of the best-known quotes from famous thinkers. As opposed to popular “philosophy quotes” collections that you can find all over the Internet, here I will give you not only the precise location of the quote (so that you can look it up yourself), but also an explanation in a few hundred words. Short enough to read quickly, but with sufficient context and interpretation, so that you can really understand what the quote originally was about and where it fits into the history of thought.

In our premium newsletter, which you can find on Substack, we have been discussing the past and the future of mankind in very broad terms.

Daily Philosophy
The Past and the Future #169 (P)
Listen now (21 min) | Dear subscribers and friends, after we talked last time about how to predict the effects of technologies, today we want to step back and have a look at time scales. It is easy to lose the right sense of time when one is confronted with geological or evolutionary time. Yet, if we want to peek into the future, we need to have a rough idea about how much time we are actually talking about…
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Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about whether there could have existed another technological civilisation on Earth in the millions of years before us. If this sounds interesting, please upgrade your subscription for the price of a coffee a month! This not only allows you to support Daily Philosophy, but it also gives you access to exclusive content, a printable version of these articles, free ebooks, and much more.

As I had promised earlier, premium subscribers will get a printable copy of the articles of the past month in a magazine format! I’m happy to announce that the first issue is now available, and, because it’s the first, I’m making it available to all subscribers. Get yours here (for free):


If you are not yet a subscriber (free or premium) then, by downloading the magazine, you will be automatically subscribed to the free edition. If already are a subscriber, please enter the email address you used to subscribe here in order to download the magazine. You can choose one of: epub, mobi (Kindle) or PDF (printable, A4) formats.

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Finally, you can take Daily Philosophy to the bathtub without being in danger of killing your phone! :) Enjoy, and please tell me what you think of it. Is it a good idea? Is it useful to you? — Thanks!

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To ease us into the new format, let me begin with a quote that will already sound somewhat familiar to you. Later on, we will look into many different philosophers and times, from Heraclitus to Hegel and from Confucius to Carnap; so keep reading!

Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing, and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgements. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 6)

Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar (121-180 AD) is still one of the most well-known and generally well-regarded emperors of Rome. Read more about him here:

Daily Philosophy
April 26, 121 AD: Marcus Aurelius is born #115
Dear friends of Daily Philosophy, Today we celebrate the birthday of Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), a man who always had wanted to be a scholar, but who was made emperor against his own wishes. He became one of the best emperors of Rome, and a widely-respected philosopher who still inspires us today with his sense of humility and duty. Read on for a short…
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Marcus Aurelius was not only an emperor, but also a philosopher. In a difficult time for Rome and for himself, he turned to philosophy to find strength and guidance. While away from Rome, on military expeditions to the barbarian lands in Central Europe, he kept a diary of his thoughts. This later became known as “Meditations.” But the original title is much more modest: “Notes to Myself,” or “Things that Concern Myself.”

This episode is for paid subscribers