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Ancient concepts of philosophy

01 Jan 1990-
TL;DR: In this paper, the author traces the emergence of the idea that the philosopher leads a valuable and happy style of life, and argues that it is in this respect that ancient concepts of philosophy differ most significantly from our own.
Abstract: What is philosophy and why is it worthwhile devoting one's life to it? From Socrates to Wittgenstein, the range of answers has been extreme. Dr Jordan traces the emergence of the idea that the philosopher leads a valuable and happy style of life, and he argues that it is in this respect that ancient concepts of philosophy differ most significantly from our own. Conversely, he aims to establish how far the more ambitious claims made by ancient philosophers are still tenable today. A fresh approach to questions about the value of philosophy, this book shows that there is much to be learnt from the ancient philosophers' differing conceptions of the ideal human life, the life of philosophy.
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Book
23 Jun 2014
TL;DR: The structural relation between philosophy and meditation is discussed in this paper, where the four noble truths as meditative perception are also discussed in the context of a philosophy of being human and how philosophy becomes perception.
Abstract: Preface 1. The structural relation between philosophy and meditation 2. A philosophy of being human 3. Mindfulness, or how philosophy becomes perception 4. The four noble truths as meditative perception 5. Conclusion.

22 citations

Dissertation
01 Jan 2009
TL;DR: In this article, the authors defend a philosophical and a thanatological treatment of the book of Qohelet, arguing that the book is very concerned with the issue of death.
Abstract: This thesis arises at the meeting place of a philosophical and a thanatological treatment of the book of Qohelet. A philosophical treatment is defended on the grounds of previous studies of the type of thinking evidenced in the text, as well as a comparison with ancient notions of philosophy which suggest that philosophy concerns the type of questions asked, the method of answering the questions, the answers to the questions, and the purpose of the endeavour. A thanatological treatment is defended both on the grounds of previous studies of the text as well as on the grounds of clear evidence that the text is very concerned with the issue of death. From a philosophical perspective it is assumed the book says something about such themes as beauty, knowledge, states of being, ethics, and the benefits of a philosophical outlook. These philosophical categories are combined with the text’s thanatology. The thesis therefore presents: a death aesthetic, in which death can be beautiful; an epistemology of death, in which we are shown to possess certain knowledge of our own mortality in contrast to the lack of understanding we possess about the events of life; a phenomenology of death, or a study of the state of being dead, in which it is seen that death can only ever be the object of our gaze, and we can never experience our own death; an ethics of death, or more precisely an ethics of suicide, in which it is asked, if suicide is appropriate, under what conditions it is better to be dead than alive; and, finally, the death-based nature of the philosophy itself, in which it is seen that one cannot be wise without thinking on death, and that such thoughts confer a particular sort of life on the wise person.

19 citations

Dissertation
01 Jan 2016
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a systematic analysis of the philosophical history of fear and its philosophical remedies through the work of western philosophers and thinkers selected based on their overall contributions in conceptualizing fear and suggesting therapies for reducing its more damaging effects.
Abstract: Fear is a critical emotion in everyday life as it permeates many of our minor and major decisions. Explicitly or implicitly, fear is one of the emotions that most strongly shape human life. In this thesis fear and its philosophical remedies will be analysed through the work of western philosophers and thinkers selected based on their overall contributions in conceptualizing fear and suggesting therapies for reducing its more damaging effects. The study will show how Epicurus, Cicero and Seneca considered fear as the main obstacle in achieving peace of mind, and their ethical systems were primarily focused on dealing with this emotion by proposing eclectic philosophical therapies. Montaigne presented a humanist therapy of fear instrumented as a critical self-analysis. In contrast, a reductionist trend in thinking about fear emerged during the 17th century with the growth of materialistic philosophy. Thomas Hobbes reduced fear into a necessary tool for social control, whereas Rene Descartes demoted fear to a secondary emotion enacted by a dualist mechanism. This trend continued with William James’s conception of fear as a sensory-somatic reflex, and with Sigmund Freud’s hypothesis of a neurotic fear resulting from universal unconscious laws. I will also discuss how current neuroscience has reduced fear to decontextualized neural changes, and how the dominant trend in psychiatry has reified anxiety into arbitrary nomenclatures of unclear validity. On a completely different tack Ludwig Wittgenstein provided a broad ‘perspicuous presentation’ of fear, but his nuanced analysis has been largely ignored in philosophical studies. Overall it can be seen that, in keeping with the scientific revolution, the influential perspectives throughout the philosophical history of fear change from understandings that philosophy itself and reason are the best therapies for fear towards the medicalization of fear that is dominant today. By following these specific and diverse historical convergences, however, their criss-crossing insights and oversights, the thesis aims to enhance the conceptual understanding of fear and the variety of perspectives and therapies available for accommodating its enduring influence in our lives.

13 citations


Cites background from "Ancient concepts of philosophy"

  • ...This ‘medicalization of philosophy’, she argues, not only forcefully indoctrinated Epicurus’ followers, but also blunted their argumentative capacities.105 Students at the Garden were 105 Limitations of Nussbaum’s medical metaphor are discussed by Jordan (Jordan, 1993, pp. 142- 143)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Helmut Heit1
TL;DR: This paper argues that essential features of Feyerabend's philosophy, namely his radicalization of critical rationalism and his turn to relativism, could be understood better in the light of his engagement with early Greek thought.

13 citations