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Ep 22: What Veterinary Professionals Can Learn From Stoicism with William Irvine

Episode Details

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In today’s episode of The Veterinary Business Success Show, host Brendan Howard interviews professor of philosophy and author of seven books (including A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy) William Irvine. 

William began his education at the University of Michigan where he gained his BA in Mathematics and Philosophy, before going on to gain a MA and Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of California. During and after graduate school, William was drawn to ‘pure philosophy’. However, after writing his doctoral dissertation on ‘Russell’s Construction of Space from Perspectives’, William’s interests and research have been within the topics that ‘lie on the border between philosophy and something else’.

Alongside his research and writing about philosophy, William has built an academic career as a professor of philosophy at Wright State University.

In this episode, William discusses Stoicism, an ancient philosophy he has adopted into his own life, and how this can help veterinary professionals. 

Outline of this episode:

  • [01:20] The episode begins with William introducing himself and his role as a professor. 
  • [02:15] William talks about what initially drew him to philosophy.
  • [05:03] Brendan asks William about Stoicism and what it means to be a Stoic?
  • [09:15] How can the discipline in Stoicm work in terms of being a veterinary profession?
  • [11:38] Brendan and William discuss Zen Buddhism and the similarities and differences between Zen Buddhism and Stoicism and how they can be used in conjunction.
  • [12:28] William talks through a zen exercise called Zazen and the emotions this can bring up. 
  • [16:38] The two discuss William’s book on desire and how we are motivated by desire and emotion. 
  • [19:40] Ad break – Join Leaders.
  • [20:56] The episode resumes with Brendan and William discussing William’s latest book ‘The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient’. William also gives a breakdown of his well-known book ‘A Guide to The Good Life’.
  • [25:25] How can we use Stoicism to overcome immediate unwanted emotions?
  • [30:11] Brendan asks William if anger and complaining are always negative?
  • [32:35] What do Stoics believe about grief?
  • [32:35] The episode comes to an end.

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