2: The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics

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9780691033426: 2: The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics


The Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics practiced philosophy not as a detached intellectual discipline, but as a worldly art of grappling with issues of daily and urgent human significance: the fear of death, love and sexuality, anger and aggression. Like medicine, philosophy to them was a rigorous science aimed both at understanding and at producing the flourishing of human life. In this engaging book, Martha Nussbaum examines texts of philosophers committed to a therapeutic paradigm--including Epicurus, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Chrysippus, and Seneca--and recovers a valuable source for our moral and political thought of today.


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"Filled with many beautifully written and powerful passages, this book will provoke lively discussion among specialists and show nonspecialists how much there is to be gained from a serious study of this period."--Brad Inwood, University of Toronto


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Martha C. Nussbaum is University Professor and Professor of Philosophy, Classics, and Comparative Literature at Brown University.

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