The Art of Living

The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy, 2nd Edition
by John Sellars 2009

About the Author
John Sellars is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, and a member of Wolfson College, Oxford.

About the Book
Ancient philosophy was conceived as a way of life or an art of living, but if ancient philosophers did think that philosophy should transform an individual’s way of life, then what conception of philosophy stands behind this claim? John Sellars explores this question through a detailed account of ancient Stoic ideas about the nature and function of philosophy. He considers the Socratic background to Stoic thinking about philosophy and Sceptical objections raised by Sextus Empiricus, and offers readings of late Stoic texts by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.

Sellars argues that the conception of philosophy as an ‘art of living’, inaugurated by Socrates and developed by the Stoics, has persisted since antiquity and remains a living alternative to modern attempts to assimilate philosophy to the natural sciences. It also enables us to rethink the relationship between an individual’s philosophy and their biography. The book appears here in paperback for the first time with a new Preface by the author.

‘… both useful and informed with plenty of solid and serious analysis that sheds light on some neglected areas of the school’s teachings.’ Practical Philosophy ‘In short, Sellars provides an excellent unitary account of Epictetus’ discussion of virtue and philosophy.’ –Ancient Philosophy

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