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By focusing on the key concepts of the French philosopher Pierre Hadot Keywords: Pierre Hadot, spiritual exercises, conversion, ancient philosophy. CITADEL. The Meditations of. Marcus Aurelius. Pierre Hadot. Translated by Michael Chase. HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pierre Hadot, N'oublie pas de vivre: pas de vivre: Goethe et la tradition des exercises Article (PDF Available) · February with Reads.
Michael Chase, p. Other contemporary thinkers working on similar issues include Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, MacIntyre and Pirsig, to name just a handful; but it is no accident that, of all these philosophers, the one most focused upon maintaining and encouraging the practical application of philosophical thought is the one whose work is the most accessible.
What Is Ancient Philosophy? Michael Chase, , p.
Here again, Hadot thinks that the intersection of theoretical and practical wisdom is the ground upon which good life is produced. By discussing the successful ideas of the past, Hadot makes salient points about the present — his reading of ancient philosophy provides a clear, accessible platform from which to present his vision of the importance of remembering to practice philosophy.
Well, Hadot is not going to push this line quite that far; but he does want to say that philosophical reasoning is in itself very important to human beings — a key part of the art of being a good human. It is worth noting that Hadot did not deride what might be seen as opposing viewpoints.
In fact, there is seldom any reference to the analytic philosophy of the Twentieth Century in his work at all. As Hadot acknowledges, the term topos is used in Stoic texts to identify the parts of philosophical discourse IC, Alongside Discourses 1. The second topos, concerning the duties of life and actions, is readily identified with ethics. Hadot claims: The discipline of desire consists on the one hand of only desiring what depends upon us, and on the other hand, in accepting with joy what does not depend upon us, but comes from universal nature, that is to say, for the Stoics, God himself.
Hadot is very open, especially in this piece, about assigning this key to his reading of Stoicism as a way of life to Adolph Friedrich Bonhoeffer, writing almost 90 years previously, in Epictet und die Stoa: Untersuchungen Zur Stoischen Philosophie Desire and impulse, the activities at play in the other exercise-topoi, both depend upon this capacity for forming judgments.
If we desire something, it is because we have assented to the judgment that it is beneficial to us. If we have the impulse to do something, similarly, it will be because we have assented to the idea that it is a good thing IC: The key principle governing Stoic lived logic is that articulated in Enchiridion V: that it is not things which trouble people, but their beliefs dogmata concerning those things.
What kind of questions?
A father has disinherited a certain son. What do you think of it? It is a thing beyond the power of the will, not an evil.
Caesar has condemned a person. The man is grieved at this. Grief is a thing which depends on the will: it is an evil. He has borne the condemnation bravely.
That is a thing within the power of the will: it is a good. III, 3, 3 ff.
A constant self-reflective vigilance is thereby enjoined of the Stoic. Hadot 37 ; then again, duties regarding how to relate to women or comport oneself at table, and how to choose a profession I. Hadot 38 Lived physics, as we have indicated, has as it goal the reshaping of the desires of the Stoic. Yet, Hadot emphasizes, Epictetus is very clear that we can only know what is truly good and bad for us, if we understand our place in the larger Whole of nature: ethics logically presupposes physics.
I, 10, 10; IC: To struggle against what is necessary, because willed by Nature or Zeus, according to the providential order, is an exercise in futility. As the Encheiridion counsels: if you wish your children, and your wife, and your friends to live for ever, you are stupid; for you wish to be in control of things which you cannot, you wish for things that belong to others to be your own … Ench.
XIV; cf. I, 6, ; IC: Nevertheless, from onwards, Hadot develops his thoughts about this discipline of lived physics, in particular, much more in relation to the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius than in relation to Epictetus, the philosopher-slave. The works of Musonius Rufus, Cleomedes, Hierocles, and Herculaneaum papyri have not yet made much 17 of an impact beyond highly specialized studies.
The first is that, following an anecdote Marcus reports in book I of the Meditations concerning his teacher Rusticus, Hadot reads Marcus as, above all, a faithful disciple of Epictetus I, 7; IC: , The second is that, in contrast to most anglophone commentators, Hadot sees both Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius as in no way epigones, lacking the philosophical rigor of the Hellenistic founders, and prioritizing ethics to the exclusion of physics and logic IC: As we mentioned, Hadot cf.
Nevertheless, Hadot sees each part of Stoic philosophical discourse as essential, precisely for the role it can play in shaping the inner discourse, hence the judgments, impulses, and desires of the Stoic.
Hadot, The literary form of the Meditations is, of course, very different from the genres in which scholars write on philosophy today IC: The text is divided into some four hundred and seventy-three sections and twelve books. Yet the divisions between what we enumerate as books were marked only by two-line breaks in the Vaticanus manuscript, and the sections were not numbered IC: Others involve reflections spanning over forty lines of modern editions.
Yet others are highly rhetorically-crafted IC: There are staged dialogues e. VII, This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Preview Unable to display preview.
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Ancients and Moderns. Essays in Honor of Pierre Hadot. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell. Google Scholar Davidson, A. Philosophy as a Way of Life.