Continental Philosophy Review 54 (1):17-39 (2020)

Matthew Sharpe
Deakin University
Albert Camus repeatedly denied the label “existentialist,” and pointed to his formative experiences of natural beauty and his early introduction to classical Greek thought and culture as determinative of his philosophy. Pierre Hadot, famous for his post-1970 work on philosophy as a way of life in classical antiquity, continued throughout his life to work on the history of Western conceptions of nature. In Le voile d’Isis, Hadot excavated a second strain of Western attitudes towards nature, alongside the instrumental or “Promethean” approach dominant in modernity: this is that of the contemplative Orphic perspective, closely tied in antiquity to philosophical regimens of spiritual exercises to transform philosophers’ ways of seeing. This paper will argue that Camus and Hadot should be read as two twentieth century “Orphic” figures in this sense, in a way that at once singles them out against almost all other European contemporaries, as well as speaking to our ecological concerns today. Yet the only comparative piece on the two thinkers to date, by Matthew Lamb, misses this shared contemplative, Orphic core to their positions. This paper aims to redress this shortcoming in the reception of the two figures.
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-020-09520-x
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References found in this work BETA

What is Ancient Philosophy?Pierre Hadot - 2002 - Harvard University Press.
Between Past and Future.Judith N. Shklar & Hannah Arendt - 1963 - History and Theory 2 (3):286.
What is Philosophy as a Way of Life? Why Philosophy as a Way of Life?Stephen R. Grimm & Caleb Cohoe - 2021 - Wiley: European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):236-251.

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