Philosophy as a Way of LifeAncients and Moderns - Essays in Honor of Pierre Hadot
This unique collection of essays on the late Pierre Hadot’s revolutionary approach to studying and practising philosophy traces the links between his work and that of thinkers from Wittgenstein to the French postmodernists. It shows how his secular spiritual exercises expand our horizons, enabling us to be in a fuller, more authentic way. Comprehensive treatment of a neglected theme: philosophy’s practical relevance in our lives Interdisciplinary analysis reflects the wide influence of Hadot’s thought Explores the links between Hadot’s ideas and those of a wealth of ancient and modern thinkers, including the French postmodernists Offers a practical ‘third way’ in philosophy beyond the dichotomy of Continental and analytical traditions
Notes on Contributors vii Foreword by John H. Spencer xiii 1 Introduction 1 Michael Chase 2 Ancient Philosophers: A First Statistical Survey 10 Richard Goulet (Color plate section is between page 32 and 33) 3 Philosophy as a Way of Life: As Textual and More Than Textual Practice 40 Richard Shusterman 4 Charismatic Authority, Spiritual Guidance, and Way of Life in the Pythagorean Tradition 57 Constantinos Macris 5 Alcibiades' Love 84 Jan Zwicky 6 Stoics and Bodhisattvas: Spiritual Exercise and Faith in Two Philosophical Traditions 99 Matthew T. Kapstein 7 Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from the Buddha to Tagore 116 Jonardon Ganeri 8 Approaching Islamic Philosophical Texts: Reading Mulla Sadra Sirazi (d. 1635) with Pierre Hadot 132 Sajjad H. Rizvi 9 Philosophy and Self-improvement: Continuity and Change in Philosophy's Self-conception from the Classical to the Early-modern Era 148 John Cottingham 10 Descartes' Meditations: Practical Metaphysics: The Father of Rationalism in the Tradition of Spiritual Exercises 167 Theodor Kobusch 11 Leading a Philosophical Life in Dark Times: The Case of Leonard Nelson and His Followers 184 Fernando Leal 12 Philosophy as a Way of Life and Anti-philosophy 210 Gwena¨elle Aubry 13 Philosophy and Gestalt Psychotherapy 223 Paul O'Grady 14 Wittgenstein's Temple: Or How Cool is Philosophy? 241 Michael McGhee 15 Observations on Pierre Hadot's Conception of Philosophy as a Way of Life 262 Michael Chase Bibliography 287 Index 311
Michael Chase is a Researcher at the Jean Pépin Centre of the National Centre of Scientific Research, Paris. A former student of Pierre Hadot himself, he has completed numerous translations of Hadot’s works, and has also published on Late Greek and Latin Neoplatonism, Patristics, and Islamic and Medieval thought. Stephen R. L. Clark is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, UK. His books include Aristotle’s Man (1975), From Athens to Jerusalem (1984), Civil Peace and Sacred Order (1989), Biology and Christian Ethics (2000), Understanding Faith (2009) and Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy (2013). Michael McGhee is Honorary Senior Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool. He is the author of Transformations of Mind: Philosophy as Spiritual Practice (2000), as well as of a number of articles on moral philosophy, aesthetics and the philosophy of religion.
This unique collection of essays on the late Pierre Hadot’s revolutionary methodological approach to studying and practicing philosophy explores Hadot’s primary conviction that philosophy itself goes beyond solving puzzles and analyzing abstract arguments. Hadot believed that philosophy is a key part of humanity’s search for happiness, that it can transform our perception of the world, and thus can alter our very mode of being. His argument that the goal of philosophy is to shift our focus away from our habitual obsession with individuality, and to embrace universality and objectivity, has resonated with thinkers across the Academy – and outside it. Offering genuinely interdisciplinary analysis of Hadot’s work and philosophical practice, this volume includes papers written from a gamut of philosophical, historical, and geographical perspectives. Articles address issues in the history of philosophy from Pythagoras to Descartes, by way of Islamic thought, thus corresponding to Hadot's view of the importance of philologically based analysis of ancient texts and historical contexts. Others study the presence of ideas related to, or influenced by, Hadot in contemporary thought, from Wittgenstein to Leonard Nelson, analytic philosophy, and French postmodernism. The result is a wide-ranging publication pointing to an additional ‘third way’ alongside the traditional approaches of Continental and analytic philosophy, one that expands our horizons with secular spiritual exercises designed to enable us to be in a fuller, more authentic way.
“This is a most valuable collection of essays, stimulated as it is by the thought of Pierre Hadot, which will help to bring the concept of philosophy as a way of life to an English-speaking audience. Chase, Clark, and McGhee put us all in their debt for assembling this fine and varied collection.” — John Dillon, Regius Professor of Greek (Emeritus), Trinity College Dublin "By comparing Hindus, Buddhists, Stoics, Pythagoreans and Descartes, and interpreting Hadot, this important book reveals, as never before, the diversities in the practice of philosophy as a way of life." —Richard Sorabji, Honorary Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford
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