The art of living : Stoic ideas concerning the nature and function of philosophy

Dissertation, Warwick (2001)
The aim of this thesis is to consider the relationship between philosophy and biography, and the bearing that this relationship has on debates concerning the nature and function of philosophy. There exists a certain tradition that conceives philosophy exclusively in terms of rational discourse and as such explicitly rejects the idea of any substantial relationship between philosophy and the way in which one lives. I shall argue that the claim that philosophy cannot have any impact upon biography is often based upon an implicit conception of philosophy as primarily rational discourse. In contrast to this I shall draw upon Socratic and Stoic philosophical resources in order to reconstruct an alternative conception of philosophy as an art concerned with one's way of life. Central to this conception will be the relationship between philosophical discourse or argument and philosophical training or exercise. I shall argue that the ancient claim that philosophy is primarily expressed in one's behaviour presupposes a conception of philosophy as an art that involves both rational discourse and training or exercise as two equally important components. I shall argue that by adopting this alternative conception of philosophy as a techne it will be possible to understand properly the relationship between philosophy and biography. In Part One I shall outline the ancient idea that philosophy is something expressed in one's life, the Socratic conception of philosophy as an art, the Stoic development of this conception into an art of living, and some ancient objections to this Stoic conception. In Part Two I shall examine the relationship between philosophical discourse and exercises in Stoic philosophy, focusing upon the neglected concept of philosophical askesis. Central to this will be the literary form of such exercises and so I shall focus upon two texts concerned with philosophical exercises
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Paul Needham (2006). Substance and Modality. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):829-840.
Susanne Bobzien (1997). Stoic Conceptions of Freedom and Their Relation to Ethics. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 41 (S68):71-89.
Timo Koistinen (2011). D. Z. Phillips' Contemplative Conception of Philosophy. Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 53 (3):333-356.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #153,192 of 1,932,496 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,462 of 1,932,496 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.