More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age

In the book “More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age” the author Antonia Macaro offers a detailed comparison between two ancient philosophic and life inspiring practice: Stoicism and Buddhism.

Review

In the book “More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age” the author Antonia Macaro offers a detailed comparison between two ancient philosophic and life inspiring practice: Stoicism and Buddhism.

In my experience, when the first is mentioned or discussed the second is usually brought up. After reading this book It is clear to me, how the two philosophy offer similar solutions for how to tackle day-to-day. Although, those solution come from traditions and sensibilities way different.

In this nice book (not too long: 178 pages) Antonia Macaro explain with attention and precision exactly these similitude and difference. She avoids comparing their respective answers to topos like physics and metaphysics and she narrows only ethics and the everyday aspects and practice of the two.

For Stoicism her main sources are the three classical Roman authors: Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus and for Buddhism she tries to follow only the original teaching of Buddha, avoiding following developing that diverge from his pragmatism.

The book works as a compact introduction for both philosophy and, if you such as me are familiar only with one, this book can make you understand the other and possibly better comprehend the one you already know.

The author, in her inquiry does not take any particular side as the correct one, and as the title suggest she keeps a sceptical approach and she does not exclude criticism for both of them.

In conclusion, this is a good book and a valid reading for who is interest in one or both philosophy.

I, personally, met Antonia Macaro in the Stoicon 2018 in London where she presented her book: video.

Personal Conclusion

After reading this book, I could say that one philosophy the other continent version of itself, thus: Stoicism be the western Buddhism and vice-versa. In the west, Buddhism has spread enormously in the last half century, and everyone knows who or what the Dalai Lama is. However, Buddhism teaching are not widespread, it is my opinion that Stoicism is more suitable and relatable for a western audience.