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The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault
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The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
For much of its history, philosophy was not merely a theoretical discipline but a way of life, an "art of living." This practical aspect of philosophy has been much less dominant in modernity than it was in ancient Greece and Rome, when philosophers of all stripes kept returning to Socrates as a model for living. The idea of philosophy as an art of living has survived in t ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by University of California Press (first published 1998)
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Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
All in all, a good introductory book on philosophy, centered around a theme most of us have considered at one time or another; that is, how to fashion a worthwhile individual mode of life. Heavy, I know. At the core of this analysis is Socrates, and the Socratic reflections of Nietzsche, Montaigne, Foucault, Mann, and others. What links each of these philosophers, starting with Socrates, is their concern with how they lived their own individual lives, and how that aligned with their particular b ...more
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
The first half of the book, treating of irony in Mann, Plato and Montaigne, is very good. It explores what happens when we, as readers, assume the perspective of a protagonist and, through a prejudice of exceptionalism, become blind to the presence in ourselves of those features of the other characters that antagonize the protagonist, just as Hans Castorp is unaware of the ways in which he is just as diseased as his fellows at the sanatorium. We are all, always 'just visiting'.

Then Nehamas inti
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chapters on Foucault and Nietzsche are great, however the last two on Socrates are just regular. The first one regarding the platonic irony on Thomas Mann Magic Moutain and socratic dialogues is fantastic, but then the two following chapters on socratic irony are not quite appealing as the first one. The introduction is interesting too.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this book 10 years ago while unemployed after graduating from college. It's still pretty good and has many interesting points about philosophy, aesthetics, and ethics as seen through the life of Socrates and the manifold ways in which descendant philosophers such as Plato, Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault attempt to speak for Socrates (or silence him) in an effort to fashion their own voices. As such, this is a good introductory book regarding philosophy that also delves into issues of ...more
Ryan Haczynski
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While the reviews on here concerning this work are varied, I enjoyed Nehamas' book immensely. Though it is entirely different in substance and style, I think this is the best philosophy book I've read since Susan Neiman's _Moral Clarity_. The only caveat I offer to potential readers is that it may be too taxing a read for those who are not well-versed with the philosophers being discussed. Nehamas clearly assumes that his audience has the requisite schema to engage in his ideas in a meaningful w ...more
Ryan James Tutak
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nehamas shows the influence of texts portraying the life of Socrates on the lives of Montaigne, Nietzsche, etc. portrayed in their texts to suggest style must lie beyond truth because truth always lies in style.
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Alexander Nehamas (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Νεχαμάς; born 1946) is Professor of philosophy and Edmund N. Carpenter, II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He works on Greek philosophy, aesthetics, Nietzsche, Foucault, and literary theory.

He was born in Athens, Greece in 1946. In 1964, he enrolled to Swarthmore Coll
More about Alexander Nehamas