A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu by Tom Sparrow

By Tom Sparrow

From bookshelves overflowing with self-help books to scholarly treatises on neurobiology to late-night infomercials that promise to make you happier, more fit, and smarter with the purchase of quite a few basic practices, the discourse of behavior is a staple of up to date tradition low and high. dialogue of behavior, notwithstanding, has a tendency to overlook the main primary questions: what's behavior? behavior, we are saying, are not easy to wreck. yet what does it suggest to wreck a behavior? the place and the way do behavior take root in us? Do purely people gather behavior? What money owed for the power or weak point of a behavior? Are behavior whatever possessed or anything that possesses? We spend loads of time wondering our behavior, yet not often can we imagine deeply in regards to the nature of behavior itself.

Aristotle and the traditional Greeks well-known the significance of behavior for the structure of personality, whereas readers of David Hume or American pragmatists like C.S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey recognize that behavior is a crucial part within the conceptual framework of many key figures within the heritage of philosophy. much less everyday are the disparate discussions of behavior present in the Roman Stoics, Thomas Aquinas, Michel de Montaigne, René Descartes, Gilles Deleuze, French phenomenology, and modern Anglo-American philosophies of embodiment, race, and gender, between many others.

The essays accumulated during this ebook exhibit that the philosophy of behavior isn't really restrained to the paintings of only a handful of thinkers, yet traverses the complete heritage of Western philosophy and maintains to thrive in modern theory.

A heritage of behavior: From Aristotle to Bourdieu is the 1st of its sort to rfile the richness and variety of this historical past. It demonstrates the breadth, flexibility, and explanatory energy of the idea that of behavior in addition to its enduring value. It makes the case for habit’s perennial allure for philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists.

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S. Hutchinson’s The Virtues of Aristotle (London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986), chapters 2, 4, and 6. 34 25. Aristotle’s separation of hexis and energeia lies at the root of his criticism of his predecessors in the Academy, such as Xenocrates and Speusippus, who claimed that eudaimonia was a hexis or possession (1098b31–1099a3). 26. See 1098b31–1099a7, 1152b33–1153a1; 1103b21–25, 1103b29–31, 1114a9–10, 1115b20–21, 1121a35–1122b2; 1104a27–29, 1104b18–21. For a good discussion of the “spheres” of virtue, see M.

It is tempting to combine this with the further assumption that habituation is itself an unthinking process” (Sorabji, “Role of Intellect,” 214). Chapter 2 The Roman Stoics on Habit William O. Stephens The ancient Stoics believed that the cultivation of proper habits is indispensable for making progress toward virtue. [1] For human beings, they insisted, this entails living in agreement with reason. The perfection of reason they understood to be virtue. Consequently, according to Stoic theory, rehearsing rational judgments about what is good, what is bad, and what is neither good nor bad, and consistently applying these judgments in our daily circumstances to decide what to do and how to live, enables us to become virtuous and thereby live happily.

False beliefs spawn bad habits. , wealth, poverty, prestige, infamy, health, illness, prolongation of life, death) free us from jealousy, resentment, anxiety, fear, panic, anger, intemperance, and mental disorder. (§D) Consequently, we imperil ourselves by neglecting to banish false beliefs about what is good, what is bad, and what is neither good nor bad. Rehearsing false beliefs about such things ingrains the beliefs in our thinking, thereby corrupting our minds, and inculcating the mental disorders known as vices.

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