CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus

Department

Department of History and Political Science

Publication Date

6-3-2014

Publication Title

Metapsychology Online Reviews

ISSN

1931-5716

Volume

18

Issue/No.

23

Abstract

Excerpt

There have been a number of books published in recent years having to do with the “self-help” nature of many ancient philosophical texts. Most of these books have been light on philosophical analysis and heavy on advice for contemporary readers. The landscape changed significantly with the publication of Pierre Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life (Blackwell, 1995) and What is Ancient Philosophy? (Harvard, 2002). Hadot’s srious philosophical books represented a different approach to understanding ancient texts. Instead of understanding them as nothing more than the nascent discussions of issues that contemporary philosophers find interesting, Hadot’s claim was that many ancient texts were written with the intention of offering people a specific way to live a life.

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