On Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise A Symposium

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-11-07
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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What if modern reason empowers us only at the cost of impoverishing thought? What if an ancient practice of philosophy could be rediscovered as a way of living? In a rural retreat in northern England, nine philosophers held regular meetings to discuss the nature of philosophy as a way of life. Posing a formidable challenge to the dominance of objective reasoning, they sought to build together a conception and practice of reasoning that is deeply engaged with the meaning of life, with dialogue, and with self-transformation.

Here, as spokesman for this group, Philip Goodchild offers his readers insight into these symposium. Eschewing convention, these essays offer profound meditations on the meaning of life, reason, inwardness, virtue, love, and God. Echoing Plato, Kierkegaard, and Weil, this bold yet imperfect struggle for authenticity performs philosophy as a spiritual exercise, effects a new critique of pure reason, and changes what it means to think today. Like Socrates himself, this book offers a challenge to all.

Author Biography

Philip Goodchild is Professor of Religion and Philosophy in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is the author of Gilles Deleuze and the Question of Philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari: An Introduction to the Politics of Desire, Capitalism and Religion: The Price of Piety, and Theology of Money. He is also currently a Senior Fellow of the Rethinking Capitalism Initiative, University of California Santa Cruz, USA.

Table of Contents

List of Aliases
Preface: Apollodorus
An Invitation: Alcibiades
Preface Continued
Introduction: Apollodorus
1. Thought and Life: The Speech of Phaedrus
2. First Interlude: Apollodorus
3. Ends and Illusions: The Speech of Pausanias
4. Second Interlude: Apollodorus
5. Hypocrisy: The Speech of Eryximachus
6. Third Interlude: Apollodorus
7. Dispositions and Interests: The Speech of Aristophanes
8. Fourth Interlude: Apollodorus
9. Mutual Attention: The Speech of Agathon
10. Fifth Interlude: Apollodorus
11. Vision and Insight: The Speech of Socrates
Conclusion: Alcibiades' Confession
Concluding Remarks: Apollodorus
Afterword: Aristodemus
Appendix: Philosophy as a Spiritual Exercise

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