The Return of Spiritual Exercises

Maria Antonaccio

in A Philosophy to Live By

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855575
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933198 | DOI:
The Return of Spiritual Exercises

Show Summary Details


This chapter situates Murdoch’s thought amidst recent efforts to retrieve the forms and practices of ancient philosophy. Thanks in large part to the work of Hadot, there has been renewed interest in the ancient idea of spiritual exercises, prompting a fundamental rethinking of philosophy as a therapy of the soul or a practical discipline of self-formation. Murdoch argued explicitly for such a conception of philosophy and saw its significance for a rapprochement between philosophy and religion or theology. This chapter develops what I call a “reflexive” model of askesis from the resources of Murdoch’s thought, and compares it with alternative models of askesis advanced by thinkers such as Hadot, Nussbaum, and Foucault.

Keywords: spiritual exercises; asceticism; pierre hadot; philosophy as a way of life; therapy of the soul; reflexivity; existentialism; hellenistic philosophy

Chapter.  12811 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.