Psychological resilience: Connecting contemporary psychology to ancient practical philosophy

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Over the last five decades, a substantial and increasing number of scholarly studies have appeared on the topic of resilience, but relatively little attention has been paid to the way in which it relates to a body of work in ancient Greek and Roman practical philosophy. In this article, I review contemporary research on psychological resilience alongside a discussion of ancient practical philosophy such as it was conceived of by philosophers such as Socrates, the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans. I suggest that acknowledging and exploring the connections between these two fields has the potential to enrich the study both of psychological resilience and of ancient practical philosophy. Having drawn attention to a number of important points of connection, I discuss some of the theoretical implications for our current understanding of resilience, and finish by pointing towards several areas of potential interest for future exploration on this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-385
Number of pages20
JournalTheory and Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • ancient philosophy
  • ancient practical ethics
  • eudaimonia
  • flourishing
  • resilience

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