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Podcast #701: Why Are We Stressed?

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Most everybody has skilled restlessness on occasion. A sense of wanting extra, however being uncertain of the best way to discover it; of battling distraction, however being uncertain of what to give attention to; of placing out in numerous instructions, however not feeling any extra fulfilled.

Whereas we have a tendency to think about restlessness as a really trendy phenomenon, a French diplomat and thinker, Alexis de Tocqueville, noticed the exact same issues in America two centuries in the past. And the roots of our restlessness return even additional nonetheless.

My visitors in the present day will hint a few of these genealogical branches for us. Their names are Benjamin and Jenna Storey, they’re a married couple, professors of political philosophy, and the authors of the e-book Why We Are Stressed: On the Fashionable Quest for Contentment.

We start our dialog with how the Storeys’ inquiry into restlessness started from observing existential meltdowns of their college students and a relentless however unfulfilling busyness of their buddies. The Storeys then clarify how Tocqueville noticed an identical phenomenon firstly of the nineteenth century, earlier than digging into two of the philosophers Tocqueville’s observations had been formed by: Michel de Montaigne and Blaise Pascal. They first unpack Montaigne’s ideally suited of residing a lifetime of cool, nonchalant, existential indifference, which sought contentment within the right here and now, after which talk about Pascal’s critique of that philosophy, through which he argued that searching for diversion and distraction for its personal sake solely makes us depressing, and that people should have interaction in an anguished seek for one thing past ourselves. We then discover what occurred within the West when Montaigne’s lifestyle was adopted by the lots, and the way it’s led to emotions of existential failure, an unattainable seek for fixed happiness, envy, loneliness, and acrimonious political debates. On the finish of our dialog, the Storeys argue that whereas restlessness can by no means be totally extinguished, it may be tamed, and counsel a number of methods on how.

If studying this in an e mail, click on the title of the put up to take heed to the present.

Present Highlights

  • Is our existential restlessness a contemporary phenomenon?
  • How restlessness manifested in early America
  • How Montaigne’s essays formed our view of happiness
  • What does Pascal should say about Montaigne and human flourishing?
  • How did Tocqueville democratize happiness (and unhappiness)?
  • Why it’s so exhausting to understand how we measure up 
  • How diversions have develop into practically non secular  
  • What occurs after we lose a typical language 
  • Is there an answer to this restlessness? 
  • The significance of claiming no 

Assets/Articles/Individuals Talked about in Podcast

Join With the Storeys

The Tocqueville Program

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Learn the Transcript

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The put up Podcast #701: Why Are We Stressed? appeared first on The Artwork of Manliness.
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