Taking Philosophy out of Philosophy as a Way of Life

For Socrates, philosophy was the sole authority for judging what kind of life is best for a human being and how we should implement that philosophical analysis in our own particular lives. But, according to Socrates, a philosophical life is more than just following a set of principles based on good reasons. Philosophical exploration andContinue reading “Taking Philosophy out of Philosophy as a Way of Life”

Philosophy is Not About Consolation

In reading some of the work of Pierre Hadot, who is largely responsible for the contemporary debate about philosophy as a way of life, it seems to me there is a fundamental tension between philosophy inspired by a sense of wonder with a commitment to pursue the truth come what may vs. philosophy as aContinue reading “Philosophy is Not About Consolation”

The Scandal of Philosophy

Shortly after launching this blog, I summarized my views on philosophy as a way of life in an essay for Three Quarks Daily entitled The Scandal of Philosophy. The short version of the essay is that philosophy has become an academic discipline existing almost exclusively in academic institutions. As a result, it has sacrificed itsContinue reading “The Scandal of Philosophy”

Socrates the Unwise

Socrates famously argued that we achieve the good life only through the rigorous practice of philosophy. Most of the premises in Socrates’ argument have proven to be false or at least highly contentious. Through philosophical reflection and dialogue, he came to believe that the soul survives death. Thus, we should be deeply concerned with its’Continue reading “Socrates the Unwise”

Risk, Rigor, and Philosophical limits

Philosophy pushes at two limits. It refuses to take common sense at face value and advances risky, experimental, or extreme hypotheses to show how appearances can be deceiving. But then it adopts rigorous standards of evidence and logic in its commitment to truth. Much of the history of philosophy is a series of jaw-dropping, preposterousContinue reading “Risk, Rigor, and Philosophical limits”