Sunday Aug 28, 2022

How does Stoicism define courage? w/ Chris Gill and Sukhraj Gill

"Courage is knowledge of which things are to be chosen and avoided and neither." Diogenes Laertius, 7.92



In this episode of The Stoic Salon Podcast, we discuss how Stoicism defines courage and how courage is connected with the other virtues of wisdom, justice, and balance. If you are interested in learning more, join us in October 2022 for our Courageous Paths to Flourishing, Stoicon Women. Our theme this year is courage and we invite women and everyone to join us to learn what the Stoics might have to say about courage and to find and grow our own natural capacity for courage.



Discussion points: 0:00 Welcome to The Stoic Salon Podcast and introducing guests Professor Chris Gill and Sukhraj Gill (see bio links below).

4:25 Please subscribe, follow, support. Email with any questions.

5:10 Welcome to the guests and first question about personal notions of courage.

7:25 Chris mentions awesome example of his dad saving a man.

9:50 Sukhraj offers her own examples of courage

11:40 Question about external validation or reward of courage, what does it look like? What about less visible types of courage?

18:22 Courage as restraint or choosing silence

21:24 Courage beyond the military style. Courage is more universal. Chris talks about Plato's dialogue Laches.

23:10 Chris mentions Euripides' Medea (rather stand in battle than have a baby) and Sukhraj talks about courage for women

28:53 Chris talks about courage and unity of the virtues, can't separate courage from the other virtues

31:10 Chris talks about the importance of facing death and its link with courage and Musonius Rufus quote

32:30 Courage as knowledge and Chris brings in personal examples

36:10 Sukhraj talks about the unity of the virtues

42:20 A quote from Seneca

42:50 Fear. Stoic vs Aristotelian view. Chris's definition of courage - knowing how to act correctly in facing fear.

50:15 A comment about women, fear, courage and a personal example

55:00 How to know how to be courageous in a world where there are so many causes to stand up for.

About the guests: Christopher Gill: Christopher Gill is a scholar of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter, UK). Much of his recent work has been centred on Stoic philosophy, including Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Books 1-6, translated with an introduction and commentary (2013), and the introduction and notes to the Oxford World’s Classics translations (by Robin Hard) of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Also, since 2012, He has been closely involved with Modern Stoicism, a collaborative project and organization designed to make Stoic principles accessible as life-guidance to a broad public audience. In that connection, He has given many talks at Stoicon conferences, including one in Athens in 2019, written many blog-posts for Stoicism Today, and worked with others on the handbook for the annual on-line Stoic Week course.


Sukhraj Gill Sukhraj lives in London and practises as a solicitor at a law firm. She was introduced to Stoicism through the Aurelius Foundation and enjoys reading around Stoic ideas and practice. In her free-time she enjoys yoga, voluntary work for a children’s charity and reading.

About the host:

Kathryn Koromilas ( is an author, educator, writing instructor, and a mindset and creativity coach. She uses ancient wisdom and writing practices to help her reignite creativity, reimagine purpose, and foster a thriving writing practice. Her interest in living an examined life has led her to be a lifelong student of philosophy and recently explore the philosophies of Stoicism and Buddhism. In 2017, she founded The Stoic Salon where she meets with like-minded and life-hearted souls to read and write with the Stoics. In 2021, she co-founded Paths to Flourishing with philosopher Brittany Polat to give a stronger voice to women in Stoicism. #Stoicism #KathrynKoromilas #courage

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