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By Pierre Hadot

Pierre Hadot is arguably probably the most influential and wide-ranging historians of historic philosophy writing this present day. in addition to having a major impact at the paintings of Michel Foucault, Hadot's paintings has been pivotal within the improvement of up to date French philosophy. His paintings is at the moment enthusiastic about a redefinition of recent philosophy via a examine of historical lifestyles and historic philosophical texts. This booklet offers a background of religious routines from Socrates to early Christianity, an account in their decline in glossy philosophy, and a dialogue of the various conceptions of philosophy that experience observed the trajectory and destiny of the idea and perform of non secular routines. Hadot's e-book demonstrates the level to which philosophy has been, and nonetheless is, specially else a manner of seeing and of being on the planet.

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Extra info for Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault

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Well illustrated by Moruuignc's chapter "Thilt to philoHopld/l' II. III 11"11111 III t liv," 69 we can go straight to Heidegger in order to rediscover this fundamental philosophical exercise in his definition of the authenticity of existence as a lucid anticipation of death. Linked to the meditation upon death, the theme of the value of the present instant plays a fundamental role in all the philosophical schools. In short it is a consciousness of inner freedom. It can be summarized in a formula of this kind: you need only yourself in order immediately to find inner peace by ceasing to worry about the past and the future.

We have just given a very brief outline of the main paths of the history of the philosophical schools of antiquity. But as a history of ancient philosophia, our history of Hellenistic and Roman thought is less focused on studying the doctrinal diversities and particularities of these different schools than it is on attempting to describe the very essence of the phenomenon of philosophia and finding the traits shared by the "philosopher" or by "philosophizing" in antiquity. We must try to recognize in some way the strangeness of this phenomenon, in order then to try to understand better the strangeness of its permanence throughout the whole history of Western thought.

An extremely significant example of this conferring of a new meaning can be seen in the final lines of Edmund Husserl's Cartesian Meditations. Summing up his own theory, Husser! writes, "The Delphic oracle pWel oeaJl'l'ov [know thyself] has acquired a new meaning .... One must first lose the world by the £noxi] [for Husscrl, the 'phenomenological bracketing' of the world], in order to regain it in a universal self-consciousness. Noli foras ire, says St Augustine, in te redi, in interiore homine habitat ueritas" This sentence of Augustine's, "Do not lose your way from without, return to yourself, it is in the inner man that truth dwells," offers Husser!

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