Philosophy as a Way of Life in the History of Philosophy
London WC2R 2LS
- British Society for the History of Philosophy
Cicero praised Socrates for having called down philosophy from the heavens to the marketplace. Arguably, Socrates also called philosophy into people’s lives. He reproached his fellow-Athenians for living un-philosophically. But what does it mean to let philosophy into one’s life? What does it mean to live philosophically or the opposite? In recent years the work of Pierre Hadot has received increasing attention, in particular his conception of philosophy as a way of life. Hadot’s work focused on ancient philosophy, claiming that in antiquity philosophy was understood not merely as a series of abstract arguments or theoretical claims but also, and more fundamentally, as a guide to how to live.
A number of scholars have taken up this model and used it to reinterpret a range of figures in the history of philosophy, either to shed new light on well-known thinkers or to rehabilitate others who have been overlooked. This two-day conference will bring together scholars who work on different periods in the history of philosophy in order to explore different answers to the questions raised. In particular, speakers will examine the ways in which the notion of philosophy as a way of life might offer a useful framework for thinking about how philosophers in the past conceived the subject and how this might impact on how we ought to interpret their works today.
Confirmed speakers include M. M. McCabe, Joachim Aufderheide, Raphael Woolf, John Sellars, Paul Lodge, Simone Webb, John Callanan, Christoph Schuringa, Clare Carlisle, and Martijn Wallange.
The event is generously supported by the History of Philosophy Research Seminar at King's College London and the British Society for the History of Philosophy.
June 24, 2019, 9:00am BST