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Philosophical Temperaments: From Plato to Foucault

Author(s): Peter Sloterdijk

General Non-Fiction

Peter Sloterdijk turns his keen eye to the history of western thought, conducting colorful readings of the lives and ideas of the world's most influential intellectuals. Featuring nineteen vignettes rich in personal characterizations and theoretical analysis, Sloterdijk's companionable volume casts the development of philosophical thinking not as a buildup of compelling books and arguments but as a lifelong, intimate struggle with intellectual and spiritual movements, filled with as many pitfalls and derailments as transcendent breakthroughs. Sloterdijk delves into the work and times of Aristotle, Augustine, Bruno, Descartes, Foucault, Fichte, Hegel, Husserl, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Marx, Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Sartre, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein. He provocatively juxtaposes Plato against shamanism and Marx against Gnosticism, revealing both the vital external influences shaping these intellectuals' thought and the excitement and wonder generated by the application of their thinking in the real world. The philosophical "temperament" as conceived by Sloterdijk represents the uniquely creative encounter between the mind and a diverse array of cultures. It marks these philosophers' singular achievements and the special dynamic at play in philosophy as a whole. Creston Davis's introduction details Sloterdijk's own temperament, surveying the celebrated thinker's intellectual context, rhetorical style, and philosophical persona.


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Peter Sloterdijk is not only an original thinker but is probably on the way to being one of the world's most prominent 'public philosophers.' In this book, he provides brief, highly charged, and colorful readings of the character, life, and ideas of leading Western philosophers. -- Carl Raschke, University of Denver and senior editor, Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory Philosophical Temperaments is in fact a creative reworking of the idea of an introduction to philosophy. It invites readers to taste philosophy itself, somehow to catch that elusive sense of what it means to think. -- Ward Blanton, Reader in Biblical Cultures and European Thought at the University of Kent

Peter Sloterdijk is professor of aesthetics and philosophy at the Institute of Design in Karlsruhe and teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He was named one of the world's top 100 intellectuals by Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines, and his numerous works include The Art of Philosophy: Wisdom as a Practice; Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation; and the best-selling Critique of Cynical Reason. Thomas Dunlap is also the translator of Wolfgang Benz's A Concise History of the Third Reich and Michael Stolleis's A History of Public Law in Germany, 1914--1945. Creston Davis is assistant professor of religion and philosophy at Rollins College.

Foreword to the English Translation by Creston DavisPrefacePlatoAristotleAugustineBrunoDescartesPascalLeibnizKantFichteHegelSchellingSchopenhauerKierkegaardMarxNietzscheHusserlWittgensteinSartreFoucaultNotesIndex

General Fields

  • : 9780231153737
  • : Columbia University Press
  • : Columbia University Press
  • : 0.454
  • : April 2013
  • : 210mm X 140mm
  • : United States
  • : April 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Sloterdijk
  • : Paperback
  • : 128