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Download The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics

The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics

  • Author: Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Pages: 558
  • Language: English
  • ISBN/ASIN: 691033420
  • ISBN13: 9780691033426
  • Upload date: 7-12-2016, 14:25
  • Category: Philosophy

The Epicureans, Skeptics and Stoics practised philosophy not as a detached intellectual discipline, but as a worldly art of grappling with issues of daily and urgent human significance: the fear of death, love and sexuality, anger and aggression. Like medicine, philosophy to them was a rigorous science aimed both at understanding and at producing the flourishing of human life. This monograph maintains that these Hellenistic schools have been unjustly neglected in recent philosophical accounts of what the classical "tradition" has to offer. By examining texts of philosophers committed to a therapeutic paradigm - including Epicurus, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Chrysippus and Seneca - the author recovers a valuable source for current moral and political thought and encourages the reader to reconsider philosophical argument as a technique through which to improve lives. In describing the contributions of Hellenistic ethics, Nussbaum focuses on each thinker's treatment of the question of emotion. All argued that many harmful emotions are based on false beliefs that are socially taught, and that good philosophical argument can transform emotions, and, with them, both private and public life.

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