Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from by Pierre Hadot
By Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot is arguably some of the most influential and wide-ranging historians of historical philosophy writing this day. in addition to having an enormous impression at the paintings of Michel Foucault, Hadot's paintings has been pivotal within the improvement of up to date French philosophy. His paintings is presently interested in a redefinition of recent philosophy via a research of historic lifestyles and historical philosophical texts. This publication provides a heritage of religious workouts from Socrates to early Christianity, an account in their decline in smooth philosophy, and a dialogue of the several conceptions of philosophy that experience observed the trajectory and destiny of the speculation and perform of non secular workouts. Hadot's ebook demonstrates the level to which philosophy has been, and nonetheless is, primarily else a fashion of seeing and of being on the planet.
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Extra info for Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault
I will speak now only of the scholar, to recall his immense output of truly great books, innumerable articles, and hundreds of reviews. I do not know if the scope of this gigantic labor has been sufficiently measured. The first lines of his great work Lettres grecques en Occident de Macrobe d Cassiodore give a clear idea of the revolutionary direction his work had for his time. "A substantial book on Hellenistic literature in the West from the death of Theodosius up to the time of the Justinian reconquest may seem surprising," wrote Courcelle.
I thus marveled to discover that at the end of the twentieth century, when many of you on a daily basis employ technical procedures, modes of reasoning, and representations of the universe of almost superhuman complexity that open a future to humanity we could not even conceive of earlier, the ideal of humanism, which inspired the foundation of the College de France, continues to retain for you, undoubtedly in a more conscious and critical but also more vast, intense, and profound form, all of its value and significance.
It always involves an effort of will, thus faith in moral freedom and the possibility of self-improvement; an acute moral consciousness honed by spiritual direction and the practice of examining one's conscience; and lastly, the kind of practical exercises described with such remarkable precision particularly by Plutarch: controlling one's anger, curiosity, speech, or love of riches, beginning by working on what is easiest in order gradually to acquire a firm and stable character. Of first importance is "meditation," which is the "exercise" of reason; moreover, the two words are synonymous from an etymological point of view.