The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)

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9780754636670: The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)
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Presenting philosophy as an art concerned with one's way of life, Sellars draws on Socratic and Stoic philosophical resources and argues for the ancient claim that philosophy is primarily expressed in one's behaviour. The book considers the relationship between philosophy and biography, and the bearing that this relationship has on debates concerning the nature and function of philosophy. Questioning the premise that philosophy can only be conceived as a rational discourse, Sellars presents it instead as an art (techne) that combines both "logos" (rational discourse) and "askesis" (training), and suggests that this will make it possible to understand better the relationship between philosophy and biography. The first part of this book outlines the Socratic conception of philosophy as an art and the Stoic development of this idea into an art of living, as well as considering some of the ancient objections to the Stoic conception. The second part goes on to examine the relationship between philosophical discourse and exercises in Stoic philosophy. Taking the literary form of such exercises as central, the author analyses two texts devoted to philosophical exercises by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.

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About the Author:

John Sellars is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, and a member of Wolfson College, Oxford.

Review:

'Sheds new light on the way philosophy was conceived...rekindles the crucial question of how we should understand and practise philosophy.' --Rhizai

'Lucid and well-documented ... a useful contribution to the expanding body of new work on Hellenistic-Roman - especially Stoic - practical ethics.' --Phronesis

'Lucid and well-documented ... a useful contribution to the expanding body of new work on Hellenistic-Roman - especially Stoic - practical ethics.' --Phronesis

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9781853997242: The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy (BCPaperbacks)

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ISBN 10:  1853997242 ISBN 13:  9781853997242
Publisher: Bristol Classical Press, 2009
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