The aim of Ethics and Self-Cultivation is to establish and explore a new ‘cultivation of the self’ strand within contemporary moral philosophy. Although the revival of virtue ethics has helped reintroduce the eudaimonic tradition into mainstream philosophical debates, it has by and large been a revival of Aristotelian ethics combined with a modern preoccupation with standards for the moral rightness of actions. The essays comprising this volume offer a fresh approach to the eudaimonic tradition: instead of conditions for rightness of actions, it focuses on conceptions of human life that are best for the one living it. The first section of essays looks at the Hellenistic schools and the way they influenced modern thinkers like Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Hadot, and Foucault in their thinking about self-cultivation. The second section offers contemporary perspectives on ethical self-cultivation by drawing on work in moral psychology, epistemology of self-knowledge, philosophy of mind, and meta-ethics.
Table of Contents
Preface Michael Slote Introduction Matthew Dennis and Sander Werkhoven Part I: Historical Perspectives 1. Roman Stoic Mindfulness: An Ancient Technology of the Self John Sellars 2. Affective Therapy: Spinoza’s Approach to Self-Cultivation Aurelia Armstrong 3. Was I just Lucky?: Kant on Self-Opacity and Self-Cultivation Irina Schumski 4. Nietzsche and Kant on Epicurus and Self-Cultivation Keith Ansell-Pearson 5. Nietzsche’s Ethics of Self-Cultivation and Eternity Michael Ure 6. Ilsetraut Hadot’s Seneca: Spiritual Direction and the Transformation of the Other Matthew Sharpe 7. Foucault, Stoicism and Self-Mastery Katrina Mitcheson Part II: Contemporary Perspectives 8. Neo-Aristotelianism: Virtue, Habituation, and Self-cultivation Dawa Ometto and Annemarie Kalis 9. Formal Excellences and Familiar Excellences Edward Harcourt 10. Cultivating an Integrated Self Luke Brunning 11. Moral Perception and Relational Self-Cultivation: Reassessing Attunement as a Virtue Anna Bergqvist Epilogue: Reflections on the Value of Self-Knowledge for Self-Cultivation Quassim Cassam, Matthew Dennis, Sander Werkhoven