The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics

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Princeton University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 558 pages
The Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics practiced 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. In this engaging book, Martha Nussbaum examines texts of philosophers committed to a therapeutic paradigm--including Epicurus, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Chrysippus, and Seneca--and recovers a valuable source for our moral and political thought of today.The Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics practiced 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. In this engaging book, Martha Nussbaum examines texts of philosophers committed to a therapeutic paradigm--including Epicurus, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, Chrysippus, and Seneca--and recovers a valuable source for our moral and political thought of today.

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User Review  - Fledgist - LibraryThing

We don't normally include the Hellenistic schools of thought -- Epicureanism, Skepticism, Stoicism -- in political theory. Nussbaum takes them on and defines them as therapeutic paradigms that provide a powerful basis for us to engage in both moral and political thought.. Read full review

THE THERAPY OF DESIRE: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics

User Review  - Kirkus

A scholarly and beautifully written account of late Greek and Roman thought in which Nussbaum (Philosophy, Classics, and Comparative Literature/Brown Univ.) analyzes the use of philosophical argument ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Martha C. Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Her writings include Aristotle's "De Motu Animalium" (Princeton), The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, and Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature.

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