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
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.
Notes on Contributors vii
Foreword by John H. Spencer xiii
1 Introduction 1
2 Ancient Philosophers: A First Statistical Survey 10
(Color plate section is between page 32 and 33)
3 Philosophy as a Way of Life: As Textual and More Than Textual Practice 40
4 Charismatic Authority, Spiritual Guidance, and Way of Life in the Pythagorean Tradition 57
5 Alcibiades’ Love 84
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
8 Approaching Islamic Philosophical Texts: Reading Mull¯a S. adr¯a ??S¯??r¯az¯?? (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
10 Descartes’ Meditations: Practical Metaphysics: The Father of Rationalism in the Tradition of Spiritual Exercises 167
11 Leading a Philosophical Life in Dark Times: The Case of Leonard Nelson and His Followers 184
12 Philosophy as a Way of Life and Anti-philosophy 210
13 Philosophy and Gestalt Psychotherapy 223
14 Wittgenstein’s Temple: Or How Cool is Philosophy? 241
15 Observations on Pierre Hadot’s Conception of Philosophy as a Way of Life 262