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The Art of Philosophy: Wisdom as a Practice Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Tra edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231158718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231158718
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A very provocative, historically penetrating, and paradigm-changing analysis of both modern and postmodern thought, which may be considered one of Peter Sloterdijk's most brilliant contributions to date to what has come to be called 'public philosophy.' This translation is vigorous and engaging and captures in different contexts the ramifications and rhetorical force of Sloterdijk's original German.

(Carl Raschke, University of Denver)

...spicily vigorous...

(Guardian)

A spirited brief for Aristotelian-moderated philosophy...

(Carlin Romano Chronicle of Higher Education)

Review

I am unaware of any other writer who so successfully merges creative rethinking of the philosophical and religious past. In this respect, I think Sloterdijk's work represents for me something like a gold standard. It is humorous, provocative, and deeply insightful.

(Ward Blanton, University of Glasgow)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Yehezkel Dror on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Peter Sloterdijik is a prolific and original contemporary philosopher in the best Western tradition. His writings deserve careful reading, though some of them are quite demanding and require background knowledge. Thus, to fully benefit from this 107 pages short book one should first read his 500 pages book You Must Change your Life!.
At the center of The Art of Philosophy is the seeking of a detached "angelic" view of the world with the help of a fitting way of life, as central to Plato and most of pre-modern Western philosophy, in contrast to an "embedded" view of the mind as bound by the body, emotions and one's habitus in time-space. The latter puts strict limits on human ability to arrive at absolutely true theories, and the very concept of such theories; while the first, though recognizing the limits of most human beings, regard some approximation of theories uncontaminated by human limits as achievable by persons who distance themselves from the world in one way or another.
The author might have done well to include at least some discourse on relevant Asian philosophies, and take into account other treatments, such as by Thomas Nagel in his book The View from Nowhere (1986). Consideration of differences between social theories, which are clearly very influenced by emotions and contexts, and abstract physical theories, such as quantum theory, which also depend on propensities of the human mind but are much less biased by personality features and habitus, might have added a lot to the book. But, instead of going into substance, I would like to apply the book briefly to the context of public policy making on two levels: intelligence analysts and political leaders.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Leddy on September 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
The best I could say for this book is that it kept my attention to the end. Sloterdijk is interesting if you take him to be doing a kind of intellectual history. He has managed to connect up several strands of a philosophical tradition that goes back to Socrates and extends to Husserl and that emphasizes the idea of philosophical detachment. Sloterdijk is especially taken with the idea of epoche as found in Husserl's writings. I first studied Husserl under Maurice Natanson at UC Santa Cruz. Natanson treated the epoche as a kind of mystical thing: either you got it or you didn't. I had recently rejected Christianity and was not ready to take up another set of beliefs based on faith. Now, many years later, I find that Sloterdijk is presenting something similar. His efforts to recover pure thought and transcendent experience get sort of manic in the last chapter when he talks about various attempts to "assassinate" the neutral observer i.e. the one Husserl tried to create (or revive). The assassins include Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger (although the last one recanted after WWII), and then, get this, the nuclear bomb! I always did enjoy the passage in the Symposium where Socrates was lost in thought, but Sloterdijk makes a big deal of this, as also the idea that philosophy is practicing to die. Frankly, one cannot know what Socrates' contemplative moments gave him, and it is hard to make any sense at all of practicing to die unless you really believe in an afterlife or the possibility of complete detachment from the body. Readers who want to follow the vita contempliva could get more out of the Zen Buddhist tradition which at least gives one various meditative practices tested over time.Read more ›
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Conferences in form of a book! This book helps us to grasp with enogh depth Sloterdijk inovative ideas on Philosophy and Religion as trainning. He links art and Philosophy in an way that is quite criative. It's a perfect option to get into this extraordinary philosopher.
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