The Art of Philosophy 

The Art of Philosophy 

Peter Sloterdijk on the Practice of Wisdom

Giorgio-Morandi-Still-Life--1956-2A motto as old as the ages insists that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”  But what does it mean to examine one’s life, and how might we go about doing it? In this seminar, we will explore a recurring practice in the history of ideas that purports to be a key ingredient to a well-examined, hence a well-lived, life: the epoché, or state of contemplative animation.  Our guide to this exploration will be the short book The Art of Philosophy: Wisdom as a Practice by the contemporary German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. As the sub-title suggests, Sloterdijk, somewhat like Socrates and Nietzsche before him, holds that “wisdom” is akin to athletic achievement in that it is a trait that is practiced to the point of high attainment. We might rightfully ask: are we being sold yet another bill of New Age goods here; is this yet another exercise in what psychoanalysis calls “imaginary plenitude,” the fantasy of permanent healing?  It may surprise some that the point of the practice is to enable the production of better thinking. The implicit claim is that the better we think, the better we act; hence, the better our lives, individually and collectively. Thinking is here conceived as a practice that, when performed with the epoché is profoundly therapeutic. How is that possible?

Facilitator: Glenn Wallis, Ph.D.

Date: Saturday, March 17, 10am-3pm.

Cost: $95


The Art of Philosophy