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Art of Living: A Response to Nehamas - Research Paper Example

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He was quite absolute in making this statement and evaluated Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault’s way of life based on the same criteria and compared it with that of Socrates. Socrates words and philosophies have been presented to us by the means of written work by his students. Among many contributors in providing his views most renowned is Plato. Therefore in his work, Nehamas dissected Plato’s ways of describing Socrates ideology of life. He emphasized that although the initial part of the dialogues were describing about Socrates founding structures of philosophy and how we are ignorant in not adopting them the later part transforms Socrates views in various different forms whose understanding is equally important. Elenchus was a unique way that was invented by Socrates that induces an argument between groups of conflicting mind and produces a result based on the elimination of those thoughts argued down by the members. Different Art of Living: Nehamas divided his writing of Art of life in three distinct genres and then individually explained them from the Socrates perspective. The first part is composed of the early dialogues of Plato. According to him Socrates proposed a way of life that was universal and can be practiced by most of the people. Socrates continued to pursue the public that his art is suitable for everyone but he fails to support his statements by providing the proper explanations. According to Nehamas even Plato did not fully understand the exact ideologies of Socrates, the character believed to be created by him. In the second section of his argument Nehamas highlighted that Plato tried to justify his mentor’s art of living. He made argument and justifications that according to Nehemas are controversial on one art of living being applicable on the whole mankind. So the first two sections basically defined the universality of Socrates ideology and living art. But in the third genre, the whole ideology takes a turn and signifies that there are many forms of human life and each of them different from the other and one single living art cannot practically define it. The conclusion from the last genre is unique as it is distinct from the initial ideology of Socrates. Adaptation of the last genre by Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault was the main focus in Nehamas writing where he characterized it as individualistic and Aestheticist. The adaptation of this very art of life is evident in these philosophers’ lives but the answer to why Socrates acted as an emulated model can be traced to Socrates’ irony. Irony: Nehamas outlined two different ironies, one associated with Plato and the other associated with Socrates. Nehamas was different in his visualization of Plato’s irony as he defines it to be saying something with a contrary meaning. The way Nehamas pictured this is quiet unique and interesting. He argued that Plato in his writing created a stage where he showed his main character Socrates practice elenchus on his interlocutors. We are presumed to be at distance watching the main event as audience. Nehamas believes that sometimes the physical distance is so great that we are even beyond that watching the event and the audience of the event. He explains that while we believe that we are witnessing the elenchus in progress we are actually being part of this process and trapped into bigger stage. Nehamas believe ...Show more


Art of Living; a response to Nehamas Instructor University Art of Living; a response to Nehamas Introduction: Socrates philosophy of “the pursuit of reason and virtue” can be interpreted in many ways. Therefore, its application as an art of living can also have several dimensions that Nehamas tried to explore in his writing…
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Art of Living: A Response to Nehamas
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