Philosophical Temperaments

From Plato to Foucault

Peter Sloterdijk. Translated by Thomas Dunlap. Foreword by Creston Davis

Columbia University Press

Philosophical Temperaments

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Pub Date: May 2013

ISBN: 9780231153737

136 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $19.95£14.95

Pub Date: May 2013

ISBN: 9780231153720

136 Pages

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Pub Date: May 2013

ISBN: 9780231527408

136 Pages

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Philosophical Temperaments

From Plato to Foucault

Peter Sloterdijk. Translated by Thomas Dunlap. Foreword by Creston Davis

Columbia University Press

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.

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 characters, lives, and ideas of leading Western philosophers.

Carl Raschke, senior editor of the 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, to somehow catch that elusive sense of what it means to think.

Ward Blanton, University of Kent

Overall, this is a scintillating introduction for Anglophone readers to a stimulating provocateur of contemporary European intellectual culture.

Choice

A highly engaging read.

Dylan S Bailey, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
Foreword to the English Translation, by Creston Davis
Preface
Plato
Aristotle
Augustine
Bruno
Descartes
Pascal
Leibniz
Kant
Fichte
Hegel
Schelling
Schopenhauer
Kierkegaard
Marx
Nietzsche
Husserl
Wittgenstein
Sartre
Foucault
Notes
Index

Read Peter Sloterdijk's chapter on Plato from Philosophical Temperaments (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

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About the Author

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. Recently named one of the world's top intellectuals by Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines, his numerous works include Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation and the best-selling Critique of Cynical Reason.

Karen Margolis is a writer and translator living in Berlin. A graduate in mathematics from the London School of Economics, she coauthored The Technology of Political Control and has published fiction, memoirs, poetry, and translations.