Author Archives: Pierre Hadot

Pierre Hadot

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Plato’s Spiritual Exercises

1,764 words

Translator’s Note: The following is drawn from Pierre Hadot, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique? (Paris: Gallimard, 1995), pp. 107-114. The footnotes have been simplified. The quotes of Plato have generally been drawn from Plato, Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997). The title is editorial.

In his Seventh Letter, Plato states that if one does not adopt this [philosophical] way of life, then life is not worth living, and that is why one must immediately decide to follow this “path,” this “marvelous path.” This way of life incidentally requires a considerable effort, which must be renewed each day. Read more …

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Epicurean Spiritual Exercises

Bust of Epicurus

1,291 words

Trans. Guillaume Durocher

Translator’s Note:

The following is drawn from Pierre Hadot, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique ? (Paris: Gallimard, 1995), 191-96. Some non-English secondary sources have been removed from Hadot’s footnotes. The title is editorial.

To achieve the healing of the soul and a life in accord with the fundamental [Epicurean] choice, it is not enough to have learned the Epicurean philosophical discourse. Read more …

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The Cynic Way of Life

John William Waterhouse, Diogenes (detail), 1882

1,044 words

Trans. Guillaume Durocher

Translator’s Note:

The following is drawn from Pierre Hadot, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique ? (Paris: Gallimard, 1995), pp. 170-74. The title is editorial.

Scholars still debate whether Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates, was the founder of the Cynic movement. Read more …

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The Enslavement of Philosophy

Francisco Suárez.

668 words

Translated by Guillaume Durocher

Translator’s Note: The following is an extract from Pierre Hadot’s excellent Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique? (Paris: Gallimard, 1995, available in English as What is Ancient Philosophy?, pp. 381-84, under the heading “Philosophy as Servant of Theology.” The title is editorial.

Writing his Disputationes Metaphysicae in the last years of the sixteenth century, a work which would exert a considerable influence on many philosophers from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, the scholastic author Francisco Suárez affirms:

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