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Controlling the philosophical imaginary: reading Pierre Hadot with Luiz Costa Lima

Sharpe, Matthew 2013, Controlling the philosophical imaginary: reading Pierre Hadot with Luiz Costa Lima, Culture, theory & critique, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 225-240, doi: 10.1080/14735784.2013.782680.

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Title Controlling the philosophical imaginary: reading Pierre Hadot with Luiz Costa Lima
Author(s) Sharpe, MatthewORCID iD for Sharpe, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0002-8165-5775
Journal name Culture, theory & critique
Volume number 54
Issue number 2
Start page 225
End page 240
Total pages 16
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1473-5784
1473-5776
Keyword(s) Pierre Hadot
philosophy
Luiz Costa Lima
imagination
Summary This essay proffers a critical complement to Luiz Costa Lima's claims concerning the nature, history, and control of the imagination in Western culture. Accepting the wide scope of Costa Lima's critical claim about the socio-political control of imaginative literature in Western history, we claim that Pierre Hadot's work on philosophy as a bios in the ancient West cautions us lest we position philosophy in this history as always and necessarily an agency of control. At different times, philosophy has rather stood as an ally in practicing and promoting forms of criticity, and the playful, creative, and transformative envisaging of alternative ways of experiencing the world Costa Lima theoretically celebrates in literary fiction. Any critique of philosophy as always opposed to the critical imagination can only stand, we have argued, relative to philosophy as conceived on what Hadot suggests is but one, albeit the now hegemonic model: namely, as a body of systematic rational discourses, including discourses about the literary, poetics, and imaginary. What this vision of philosophy misses, Hadot shows, is how the ancient conception of philosophy (which survives in figures like Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Goethe) as a way of life promoted distinctly literary, aesthetic, and imaginative practices; first, to assist in the existential internalisation of the schools' ideas; secondly, to envisage in the sage and utopias edifying counterfactuals to help students critically reimagine accepted norms; and thirdly, in the conception of a transformed way of living and perceiving ‘according to nature’, whose parameters of autonomy and pleasurable contemplation of the singularity of the present experiences anticipate the experiences delineated in modern aesthetic theory.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/14735784.2013.782680
Field of Research 220210 History of Philosophy
220207 History and Philosophy of the Humanities
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2013
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056007

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
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Created: Fri, 13 Sep 2013, 14:35:39 EST by Matthew Sharpe

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