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The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (Sather… (edition 2000)
The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (Sather Classical Lectures, 61) by Alexander Nehamas
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0520224906, Paperback)If philosophy is primarily a theoretical discipline, suggests Alexander Nehamas, it is because it has become one through the influence of tradition. But there exists another tradition, which flourished in classical Greece, in which philosophical pursuits were much more thoroughly integrated into the creation of one's full identity, both in regard to morality and personality. "In the case of pure theory," Nehamas explains, "the only issue that matters is whether the issues to one's questions are or are not correct. In the case of theory that affects life, the truth of one's views is still an issue, but what also matters is the kind of person, the sort of self, that one manages to construct as a result of accepting them."
Nehamas fleshes out the origins and development of this philosophical style in the Socratic dialogues of Plato, then goes on to show how the model of "the art of living" that Socrates presented to the world influenced the philosophies of Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault. The book's six chapters are notable for their close readings of Nehamas's chosen subjects, and for the erudite straightforwardness with which he is able to lay out his proposal for renewed attention to a discipline of thought that, he freely admits, is not the one true way of philosophy, but is one that has had many fruitful results. --Ron Hogan
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 14:00:19 -0500)
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