Liz Frissell

Seneca in 2020: Applying Stoicism to the Modern World

Faculty Mentor: Stephen Klemm, Comparative Studies in Literature & Culture Department

Major: Philosophy, Cognitive Science

Funding: Ford Research Mentor's Endowment


In this research, I outline the problem social media influencers pose towards the mental health of Generation Z. I indicate how this problem is worse than celebrity influence of past decades, and detail the social media platforms influencers use. I subsequently present a brief history of the ancient school of philosophy known as Stoicism. Next, I explain one Stoic’s, Seneca the Younger’s, approach to Stoic ethics via a system of virtue ethics. Finally, I give a concrete example of how members of Gen Z can utilize the moral theory of the Stoics to not only avoid the negative mental health impacts of influencers, but use social media to positively impact their and their peers mental well-being.


Watch my research presentation below.

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