By Thomas Mathien, D.G. Wright

Most philosophical writing is impersonal and argumentative, yet many vital philosophers have however written debts in their personal lives.

Filling a niche out there for a textual content concentrating on autobiography as philosophy, this assortment discusses numerous such autobiographies within the gentle in their authors' broader paintings, and considers no matter if there are any philosophical initiatives for which existence money owed are really acceptable.

Instead of the typical impersonal and argumentative types of traditional philosophical dialogue, those autobiographical texts are deeply own and principally narrative or explanatory. The participants to this e-book research the philosophical value of philosophers’ autobiographies and even if there are widely philosophical initiatives for which this kind of writing is very appropriate. Autobiography as Philosophy includes a common dialogue concerning the relation among philosophical and autobiographical writing, and essays at the particular writings of Augustine, Abelard, Montaigne, Descartes, Vico, Hume, Rousseau, Newman, Mill, Nietzsche, Collingwood and Russell via experts at the works of those members.

Original and specified in its efforts to consider the writings of traditionally famous philosophers as communicative acts ruled by way of their very own exact pursuits and reasons, the publication finds that it truly is as a lot concerning the texts and the authors because it is ready their doctrines and arguments. for this reason the ebook steps again from a number of the problems with important philosophical dialogue to mirror on definite varieties of writing as capacity to philosophical ends, to think about what these ends have included.

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Additional resources for Autobiography as Philosophy: The Philosophical Uses of Self-Presentation (Routledge Advances in the History of Philosophy)

Sample text

The author has produced a permanent life story, refined, compressed and reduced to, at most, a limited set of narrative threads. This ‘‘reduced’’ and organized life story, perhaps with elements of invention, calls the author to account in a way that merely having engaged in recollection, occasional reflection or diary writing does not. It is a text to live up to. If it has been published, then it will engender expectation in a public as well as in the writer and generate a demand for public accountability.

In his contribution (Chapter 10) Fred Wilson holds that Mill presented the crisis in early adulthood as evidence against what he judged to be the oversimplified version of associationist psychology advanced by his father. Since he thought the facts of human experience supported a more complex associationism which could explain both the crisis and its resolution, he could offer his life not only as refutation but also as a kind of lived experimentum crucis, driving the selection of one of two competing theories of human mental life.

With an introduction by Peter France, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Russell, B. (1967) Autobiography, vol. I, London: Allen and Unwin. Seneca, L. A. (1997) ‘‘Consolation to Helvia,’’ 3–28 in Seneca, Dialogues and Letters, trans. C. D. N. Costa, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Verene, D. (1991) The New Art of Autobiography, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Vico, G. (1944) The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico, trans. Max Fisch and Thomas Bergin, Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press. 2 The Confessions of Saint Augustine Accessory to grace Samantha Thompson The Confessions by St Augustine of Hippo is one of the great books of Western culture.

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