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Book Title: The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.54 MB
v The author of the book: Alexander Nehamas
Edition: University of California Press
Date of issue: March 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780520224902
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault:For much of its history, philosophy was not merely a theoretical discipline but a way of life, an "art of living." This practical aspect of philosophy has been much less dominant in modernity than it was in ancient Greece and Rome, when philosophers of all stripes kept returning to Socrates as a model for living. The idea of philosophy as an art of living has survived in the works of such major modern authors as Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault. Each of these writers has used philosophical discussion as a means of establishing what a person is and how a worthwhile life is to be lived. In this wide-ranging, brilliantly written account, Alexander Nehamas provides an incisive reevaluation of Socrates' place in the Western philosophical tradition and shows the importance of Socrates for Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault.
Why does each of these philosophers—each fundamentally concerned with his own originality—return to Socrates as a model? The answer lies in the irony that characterizes the Socrates we know from the Platonic dialogues. Socratic irony creates a mask that prevents a view of what lies behind. How Socrates led the life he did, what enabled or inspired him, is never made evident. No tenets are proposed. Socrates remains a silent and ambiguous character, forcing readers to come to their own conclusions about the art of life. This, Nehamas shows, is what allowed Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault to return to Socrates as a model without thereby compelling them to imitate him.
This highly readable, erudite study argues for the importance of the tradition within Western philosophy that is best described as "the art of living" and casts Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault as the three major modern representatives of this tradition. Full of original ideas and challenging associations, this work will offer new ways of thinking about the philosophers Nehamas discusses and about the discipline of philosophy itself.
Read information about the authorAlexander Nehamas (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Νεχαμάς; born 1946) is Professor of philosophy and Edmund N. Carpenter, II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He works on Greek philosophy, aesthetics, Nietzsche, Foucault, and literary theory.
He was born in Athens, Greece in 1946. In 1964, he enrolled to Swarthmore College. He graduated in 1967 and completed his doctorate on Predication in Plato's Phaedo under the direction of Gregory Vlastos at Princeton in 1971. He taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Princeton faculty in 1990.
His early work was on Platonic metaphysics and aesthetics as well as the philosophy of Socrates, but he gained a wider audience with his 1985 book Nietzsche: Life as Literature, which argued that Nietzsche thought of life and the world on the model of a literary text. Nehamas has said, "The virtues of life are comparable to the virtues of good writing—style, connectedness, grace, elegance—and also, we must not forget, sometimes getting it right." More recently, he has become well known for his view that philosophy should provide a form of life, as well as for his endorsement of the artistic value of television. In 2008, he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.
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