Socrates had no system to teach. Throughout, his philosophy was a spiritual exercise, an invitation to a new way of life, active reflection, and living consciousness.

— Pierre Hadot

The most grateful Pierre Hadot quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Ancient philosophy proposed to mankind an art of living.

By contrast, modern philosophy appears above all as the construction of a technical jargon reserved for specialists.

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To know oneself means, among other things, to know oneself qua non-sage: that is, not as a sophos, but as a philo-sophos, someone on the way toward wisdom.

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Philosophy - reduced, as we have seen, to philosophical discourse - develops from this point on in a different atmosphere and environment from that of ancient philosophy. In modern university philosophy, philosophy is obviously no longer a way of life, or a form of life - unless it be the form of life of a professor of philosophy.

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Only he who is capable of a genuine encounter with the other is capable of an authentic encounter with himself, and the converse is equally true...From this perspective, every spiritual exercise is a dialogue, insofar as it is an exercise of authentic presence, to oneself and to others.

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One could say that what differentiates ancient from modern philosophy is the fact that, in ancient philosophy, it was not only Chrysippus or Epicurus who, just because they had developed a philosophical discourse, were considered philosophers. Rather, every person who lived according to the precepts of Chrysippus or Epicurus was every bit as much a philosopher as they.

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There was a Socratic style of life (which the Cynics were to imitate), and the Socratic dialogue was an exercise which brought Socrates' interlocutor to put himself in question, to take care of himself, and to make his soul as beautiful and wise as possible.

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Socrates splits himself into two, so that there are two Socrates: the Socrates who knows in advance how the discussion is going to end, and the Socrates who travels the entire dialectical path along with his interlocutor.

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