The opening essay by the late Steven Collins discusses several issues including the value of comparative analyses of Greco-Roman philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, practices of self in both Hadot and Foucault with a response to Hadot's critiques of Foucault and the possibility of pursuing Hadot's philosophy as a way of life in the modern world. Le livre de poche; 603. It would follow that these pathe, or their immediate demands, are tangentially irrational. His work is currently concerned with a redefinition of modern philosophy through a study of ancient life and ancient philosophical texts. The exploration might continue the cultural dialogue that is bringing into being western forms of Buddhist life. Pierre Hadot 1922-2010 Pierre Hadot, classical philosopher and historian of philosophy, is best known for his conception of ancient philosophy as a bios or way of life manière de vivre. Thus, one can be an original theorist or an erudite scholar, but not a philosopher in the classical sense.
Hence, reasoning is an important spiritual exercise, but it is transcended by awareness. Nevertheless, it is intriguing to explore ways in which Buddhist philosophy overlap at least in general ways with ancient Greek conceptions. First, Socrates associated the philosophic life with a revaluation of accepted normative commitments of his society and with a studied indifference toward the things his contemporaries coveted wealth, status, property, public office, political disputes , as attested by his appearance, dress, and absence of gainful employment compare Apo. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1942 to 1946, later becoming first a researcher and then director of studies at the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. It shows the first fruits of his philological training over the previous decade and his distinct perspective upon ancient philosophical writings.
While knowledge of ancient philosophy is not strictly required for reading this book, those with this knowledge will get the most from it. A couple of recent contributions are: Matthew Kapstein, 2013. Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1998. In some cases, the rationales are rather similar, and in other cases they are not. An important question raised by Hadot's analysis is what makes a way of life, a manière de vivre, or even a regime of self-transformation, philosophical as opposed to some other way of life or regime.
Educated as a Catholic, at age 22 Hadot began training for the priesthood. The philosophical Sage, in all the ancient discourses, is characterized by a constant inner state of happiness or serenity. This has been achieved through minimizing his bodily and other needs, and thus attaining to the most complete independence autarcheia vis-à-vis external things. His chapter on Epicureanism, for instance, draws out exactly how the Epicureans analysed the nature of pleasure, to produce arguments that would help in the therapy of desire. It is a concrete attitude and determinate lifestyle, which engages the whole of existence. If the linked material requires signing up to view, even if the account is free, it is not allowed. The goal is to arrange our lives around a simple, universal principle.
This site's contents are © Alan Brill 2009-2019 You can contact me at Kavvanah at gmail. This is an area in which there are substantial similarities with Buddhist philosophy. This is articulated clearly in the essays by Apple and Fiordalis. First, philosophical discourse aims to do specific things with words, concerning those who will read them. According to Hadot, one became an ancient Platonist, Aristotelian, or Stoic in a manner more comparable to the twenty-first century understanding of religious conversion, rather than the way an undergraduate or graduate student chooses to accept and promote, for example, the theoretical perspectives of Nietzsche, Badiou, Davidson, or Quine. In different works, Hadot specified these constraints shaping the ancient philosophical texts.
Kinetic pleasures are those we experience when actively doing something to avoid pain and gain pleasure, such as eating, drinking, having sex. Philosophical authors in the twenty-first century write under very different social, political, institutional, and technological constraints than their ancient antecedents. Users must follow all reddit-wide spam guidelines, and in addition must not submit more than one post per day on. According to Hadot, twentieth- and twenty-first-century academic philosophy has largely lost sight of its ancient origin in a set of spiritual practices that range from forms of dialogue, via species of meditative reflection, to theoretical contemplation. Rather, in a spirit of what appears to have been irony, he allowed his interlocutors to voice their thoughts, before asking questions which quickly showed they were as ignorant and confused as he was. Exceptions are made only for posts about philosophers with substantive content, e. Are they designed to conform one to some rule or law? I highly recommend this book for both general and professional readers.
History and Theory, 50, 20-40. The positive side to the exercise is to again engender in students the kind of wonder, serenity, or elevation of spirit, imputed to the perspective of the Sage. More deeply, it is meant to change the way we see the world, the way we feel about our lives and the way we treat each other. Based on the fundamental recognition that pleasure alone is good, Epicureans therefore reasoned that we should train ourselves to identify the katastematic pleasure that is constant and reliable, while practicing the observation of the changing nature of kinetic pleasure, which turns to pain when satiated. Some instead spend their time focused upon the activity of philosophy itself. See in particular, Martha C. The whole seems to develop no argument and often to repeat itself.
Finally, Fiordalis interprets Vasubandhu's Treasury of Abhidharma in terms of Hadot's account of the Stoic understanding of the role of philosophical discourse in philosophy. Well, Hadot is not going to push this line quite that far; but he does want to say that philosophical reasoning is in itself very important to human beings — a key part of the art of being a good human. The larger aim is that the philosopher learns to separate the self or in the Stoics, the ruling principle from all unnecessary attachments to alienable, external goods, so that a sense of joy and gratitude can be experienced independent of whichever situations fate has delivered. The text as we have it is divided into 473 fragments in twelve books, and for all its flashes of limpid beauty, it can seem completely disordered to the modern reader. In doing so, he makes this reader, at least, examine my own way of being in the world.
All ancient philosophical schools agreed that, by contrast, most people live unwise lives most of the time. Premeditation of Death and Evils Perhaps the most well-known philosophical spiritual exercise is the Stoic practice of the premeditation of evils. Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1998. References and Further Reading a. His important contribution was to draw attention to the practical aim and context of this intellectual activity. This has proved a formidable barrier to understanding the texts. Along the way, he illuminates such figures as Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Goethe, and Foucault whose high praise for Hadot is not reciprocated.
The Figure of the Sage A further, too-often neglected feature of the ancient conception on philosophy as a way of life, Hadot argues, was a set of discourses aiming to describe the figure of the Sage. Hadot was more than a philosopher: he was also a historian of philosophy whose focus was a desire to understand the ancients as they understood themselves. But this is achieved through moral restraint and the three practices of study, reasoning and cultivation. Both figures are referred to by Collins in a note on p. Comments that solely express musings, opinions, beliefs, or assertions without argument may be removed. Davidson, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993.