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Luke Burgis

Why do you want what you do? Are your desires even your?

In this conversation, Caleb Ontiveros speaks with Luke Burgis. Luke’s most recent book, Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, covers mimetic theory, as does this conversation.

Mimetic theory is essential for Stoics to know because it explains why we end up wanting so many things that are outside of our control. Luke shares how mimetic theory does this and tactics for focusing on “thick” as opposed to “thin” desires.

Anti-Mimetic newsletter

(01:36) Introduction
(06:50) Mimetic theory
(16:49) Role models in Freshmanistan
(24:29) Rivalry
(28:45) Scapegoating
(35:57) Why are we unhappy?
(41:53) Tactics for wanting well
(46:54) Luke on Stoicism

Stoa Conversations is Caleb Ontiveros and Michael Tremblay’s podcast on Stoic theory and practice.

Caleb and Michael work together on the Stoa app. Stoa is designed to help you build resilience and focus on what matters. It combines the practical philosophy of Stoicism with modern techniques and meditation.

Become more Stoic with the Stoa app.

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Caleb Ontiveros has a background in academic philosophy (MA) and startups. His favorite Stoic is Marcus Aurelius. Follow him here:

Michael Tremblay also has a background in academic philosophy (PhD) where he focused on Epictetus. He is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His favorite Stoic is Epictetus. Follow him here:

Thanks to Michael Levy for graciously letting us use his music in the conversations.