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The Theoretic Life - A Classical Ideal and its Modern Fate

Reflections on the Liberal Arts

Authors: Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander

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  • Covers such figures as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in the ancient world and Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, and Dewey in modern philosophy
  • Deals capaciously with the topic of the theoretic life in both ancient and modern philosophy
  • Addresses the topical issue of the “crisis of the humanities” in modern education and culture
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-02281-5
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Hardcover $37.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-02280-8
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About this book

In this work, Alexander Rosenthal Pubul presents a broad examination of the ancient philosophical question: “What is the good life?”, while addressing how the liberal arts can help us to answer this question. Greek philosophy distinguished between the “noble” (what is good in itself), from the merely “useful” (good for something else). From thence follows the distinction between the liberal arts which pursue such noble goods and the mechanical arts which are only instrumental.  For Aristotle, the most noble and excellent good is wisdom itself. Hence the theoretic life devoted to the love of wisdom for its own sake –philosophy - is the highest and the most excellent.

This work theorizes the origins of modernity in a rebellion against this Greek conception resulting in a complete inversion of the classical hierarchy.   Sir. Francis Bacon reconceiving the purpose of knowledge as power,  enthroned technology over philosophy and the liberal arts. The unfolding of the modern Baconian revolution progressively sidelines the liberal arts, as practical economic and technical utility become the standard of value. In assessing this problem, the book engages in a capacious journey across disciplines like philosophy, history, art, politics, and science. It is also a veritable tour across the Western intellectual tradition including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Thomas Aquinas, Bacon, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Dewey, Berdyaev, Einstein, and Heidegger. It pleads the urgent need to preserve the humanizing cultural ideals of the ancient classics against the modern tyranny of utility and the dangers of a new barbarism.

About the authors

Alexander Rosenthal Pubul PhD  Presently a Lecturer from his home in Spain for Johns Hopkins University (Center for Advanced Governmental Studies) where he formerly served as Assistant Director, and currently teaches in political thought.  Dr. Rosenthal received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton University in 1994 and his PhD in Philosophy from the Katholieke Universisteit Leuven in 2005. His research interests include philosophy and European intellectual history.  Among his publications is his book Crown Under Law (2008) which deals with the intellectual origins of modern constitutionalism. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities including Loyola College (Maryland), and Catholic University of America (CUA), the University of Glasgow (Scotland). He is the co-founder and director of the Petrarch Institute, which focuses on the classical humanities tradition

Table of contents (17 chapters)

Table of contents (17 chapters)
  • The New Barbarism: The Contest Between Classical Humanist Culture and Techno-Economic Pragmatism

    Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander S.

    Pages 3-10

  • In Pursuit of the Noble: The Classical Birth of the Liberal Arts

    Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander S.

    Pages 11-26

  • The Political and the Theoretic Life – The Challenge of Socrates

    Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander S.

    Pages 27-36

  • Aristotelian Teleology: The Bridge Between Natural Philosophy and the Problem of “The Good Life”

    Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander S.

    Pages 37-48

  • The Aristotelian Revolution: The Autonomy of the Theoretic Life and the Dream of Universal Science

    Rosenthal-Pubul, Alexander S.

    Pages 49-57

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-02281-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $37.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-02280-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Theoretic Life - A Classical Ideal and its Modern Fate
Book Subtitle
Reflections on the Liberal Arts
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-02281-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-02281-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-02280-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 165
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics