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How to Do the Right Thing

An Ancient Guide to Treating People Fairly

Seneca Robert Kaster



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Princeton University Press
20 June 2023
There are times when we’ve all felt that we haven’t been treated as we deserve—that we’ve been misjudged, shortchanged, or given a raw deal. And, at one time or another, other people have probably felt that we’ve treated them just as unfairly. How to Do the Right Thing draws on the principles of ancient Stoicism as articulated by the Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca to help readers better navigate one of the most important practical questions of daily life — how to do right by others.

Starting from the virtue of magnanimity — the opposite of small-mindedness — How to Do the Right Thing draws together lessons from Seneca’s writings that stress the importance of calm and clear thinking, of judging oneself fairly before judging others, and of cutting people slack, with a bias toward mercy — all delivered in crisp and lively new translations, and with the original Latin on facing pages.

'Robert Kaster’s translations are wonderful, the selections exciting, and, as always, it is a pleasure to be put smack in the middle of Seneca’s coaxing, cajoling, and coaching.'—Nancy Sherman, author of Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons in Modern Resilience

Translated by:  
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 171mm,  Width: 114mm, 
ISBN:   9780691238647
ISBN 10:   0691238642
Series:   Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers
Pages:   288
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert A. Kaster is professor emeritus of classics and Kennedy Foundation Professor Emeritus of Latin at Princeton University. His books include The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads and (with Martha C. Nussbaum) Seneca: Anger, Mercy, Revenge.

Reviews for How to Do the Right Thing: An Ancient Guide to Treating People Fairly

"""Kaster creates a meaningful and original tapestry of Senecan thought. . . . His translations are precise, stylistically appealing, and incredibly clever in reproducing the readability and affective impact of the original—a model to emulate. He allows himself the freedom to give Seneca an English voice that speaks to modern readers.""---Jula Wildberger, Bryn Mawr Classical Review ""Drawing widely on Seneca’s Dialogues (i.e. essays) and his 120 Moral Epistles, [Kaster] discusses the question of fairness under five headings, each with a brief introduction…all beautifully elucidated.""---Susan S. Meyer, Classics For All ""Excellent.""---David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer"

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