9781472525512

Dying for Ideas The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781472525512

  • ISBN10:

    1472525515

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 4/23/2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Summary

What do Socrates, Hypatia, Giordano Bruno, Thomas More, and Jan Patocka have in common? First, they were all faced one day with the most difficult of choices: stay faithful to your ideas and die or renounce them and stay alive. Second, they all chose to die. Their spectacular deaths have become not only an integral part of their biographies, but are also inseparable from their work. A "death for ideas" is a piece of philosophical work in its own right; Socrates may have never written a line, but his death is one of the greatest philosophical best-sellers of all time.

Dying for Ideas explores the limit-situation in which philosophers find themselves when the only means of persuasion they can use is their own dying bodies and the public spectacle of their death. The book tells the story of the philosopher's encounter with death as seen from several angles: the tradition of philosophy as an art of living; the body as the site of self-transcending; death as a classical philosophical topic; taming death and self-fashioning; finally, the philosophers' scapegoating and their live performance of a martyr's death, followed by apotheosis and disappearance into myth.

While rooted in the history of philosophy, Dying for Ideas is an exercise in breaking disciplinary boundaries. This is a book about Socrates and Heidegger, but also about Gandhi's "fasting unto death" and self-immolation; about Girard and Passolini, and self-fashioning and the art of the essay.

Author Biography

Costica Bradatan is Visiting Faculty Fellow at Arizona State University, USA.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One: On the very definition of philosophy
i)Philosophy as production ofknowledge vs. philosophy as an art of living-
ii)Philosophy and the fashioningof the self
iii)Pierre Hadot, Michel Foucault,Alexander Nehamas "To philosophize is to learn how to die"

Chapter Two: Philosophy in the flesh
i)The body as a philosophicalproblem
ii)The body of the philosopher
iii)The case of Simone Weil
iv)On the political uses of adying body
v)The martyred body asself-expression

Chapter Three: Philosophy and the experience of death
i)Melete thanatou
ii)Three philosophers on death& dying:Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (1927); Paul-Louis Landsberg Essai sur l'expérience dela mort (1936);VladimirJankélévitch, La mort (1966)

Chapter Four: The philosopher's encounter with death
i)Types of encounter
ii)The fear of death
iii)Boethius: De Consolatione Philosophiae
iv)Thomas More's Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation

Chapter Five: The making of a philosopher-martyr
i)The performance
ii)The story-telling
iii)The audience

Conclusions: To die laughing

Bibliography
Index

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