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Autobiography as Philosophy : The Philosophical Uses of Self-Presentation - Thomas Mathien

Autobiography as Philosophy

The Philosophical Uses of Self-Presentation

By: Thomas Mathien (Editor), D.G. Wright (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 26th April 2006
ISBN: 9780415327046
Number Of Pages: 277

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Most philosophical writing is impersonal and argumentative, but many important philosophers have nevertheless written accounts of their own lives.

Filling a gap in the market for a text focusing on autobiography as philosophy, this collection discusses several such autobiographies in the light of their authors' broader work, and considers whether there are any philosophical tasks for which life accounts are particularly appropriate.

Instead of the common impersonal and argumentative forms of ordinary philosophical discussion, these autobiographical texts are deeply personal and largely narrative or explanatory. The contributors to this book examine the philosophical significance of philosophersa (TM) autobiographies and whether or not there are broadly philosophical tasks for which this sort of writing is particularly suited. Autobiography as Philosophy contains a general discussion about the relation between philosophical and autobiographical writing, and essays on the specific writings of Augustine, Abelard, Montaigne, Descartes, Vico, Hume, Rousseau, Newman, Mill, Nietzsche, Collingwood and Russell by specialists on the works of these individuals.

Original and distinctive in its efforts to think about the writings of historically recognized philosophers as communicative acts governed by their own distinctive interests and purposes, the book reveals that it is as much about the texts and the authors as it is about their doctrines and arguments. As a result the book steps back from many of the issues of substantive philosophical discussion to reflect on certain forms of writing as means to philosophical ends, to consider what those ends have included.

List of contributorsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Philosophers' autobiographiesp. 14
The Confessions of Saint Augustine: accessory to gracep. 31
Who is Peter Abelard?p. 64
Philosophy without heroism: Montaigne and the vanity of autobiographyp. 76
Exile and philosophy: Descartesp. 97
Scrissela da filosofo: The Life of Giambattista Vico Written by Himselfp. 109
Hume's "Life" and the virtues of the dyingp. 120
Portraying nature: Rousseau's Reveries as philosophy and artp. 141
John Henry Newman and autobiographical philosophyp. 168
Mill's autobiographyp. 180
The subject of Nietzsche's Ecce Homop. 211
R. G. Collingwood: philosophy as autobiographyp. 230
Is Bertrand Russell a logical fiction?p. 253
Indexp. 266
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415327046
ISBN-10: 0415327040
Series: Routledge Advances in the History of Philosophy
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 277
Published: 26th April 2006
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 16.05  x 2.13
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1