Please respond to all of the following.

Part I

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Meditation- the practice of dialogue with oneself- seems to have held a place of honor among Socrates’ disciples. When Antisthenes was asked what profit he had derived from philosophy, he replied: “The ability to converse with myself.”
– Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life (91)

Please locate and describe a space that is of philosophical significance for you, which is to say, a space where you practice philosophy and think. If you do not currently have a space, please work to construct or discover one.

Please feel free to use the following questions as starting points for your response. Where do you go to meditate? Which spaces encourage this way of being? Why do they encourage it? If you do not currently have a space, how can you make one or establish a new one?

Keep in mind that this space can be indoors or outdoors. It can be a room, a chair or a spot on the floor in any kind of space. It can be a bench, a set of stairs or a park.

Please describe the physical location and your interaction with it. Be sure to use direct textual evidence from at least one philosopher in our Bibliotherapy to support your philosophical connection to the space. The space itself is important as is the thinking and transforming that occurs there. The direct textual evidence can work to present and support the spiritual development that is facilitated by the space.

Please respond in 1-2 pages.

Part II

“Philosophy is the set of principles and practices available to one, or which one makes available to others, for taking proper care of oneself or of others.” (136)
– Michel Foucault, Hermeneutics of the Subject

Please identify two common philosophical ailments that may characterize a person’s life. The following are some potential examples: impatience, imbalance, living in a state of distraction, procrastination, living in a state of irrational fear, or always feeling disappointed. Briefly analyze each of your two ailments and define them in your own terms. Be sure to address the following questions. Why is it a problem? How would this condition manifest itself in ways of thinking, feeling and/or acting? How does this affect the person embodying it? How can it impact other people?

Please be sure to use direct textual evidence from the Bibliotherapy texts from at least one philosopher in your response and connect the philosopher’s thinking with your own on the treatment process. The following questions may serve as interesting starting points. How would Epictetus suggest we deal with impatience? How would Aristotle view and solve procrastination? What would Epictetus suggest to someone overly concerned with their grade on this paper?

Look at yourself as the doctor and understand the readings as your instruments for giving sound medication for these topics.

Please respond in 1-2 pages.

Part III

Please create or share three mantras that you find valuable and useful for living your most peaceful and fulfilling life. We will define that idea in the following way. A mantra is a short phrase that serves the purpose of a powerful reminder to pursue a flourishing life that can be repeated on a daily basis. As Epictetus tells us, these are short phrases to “ease our soul’s suffering,” help us “distinguish between wholesome and lazy, hurtful beliefs and habits,” and help us to understand “the art of living a good life. (76)”

Please explain the “why” or purpose behind each mantra and the “how” or the way in which you will employ each mantra.

Please respond in 1-2 pages.

Part IV

“Philosophy is the set of principles and practices available to one, or which one makes available to others, for taking proper care of oneself or of others.” (136)
– Michel Foucault, Hermeneutics of the Subject

In this assignment, we will work to examine, embody and reflect on one of the many philosophical practices offered by Pierre Hadot in Philosophy as a Way of Life and work with other elements of our work this semester. These are designed to help us tend to the philosophical tasks of working to know ourselves and care for ourselves by encouraging us to learn and grow.

Please choose one practice from the book and from our discussions and practice it every day for at least 7 days. First, the response should address why you chose this practice. Please include direct textual evidence to demonstrate how views and understands it, and explain your own interpretations and inspiration for your decision. I strongly suggest looking at the On Daily or Frequent Philosophical Practices chapter or at the Self-Writing Guide book on Blackboard.

Next, please think and write about your experience with the practice over the seven days. Working with at least one text from our semester, please identify the philosophy that you are grappling with through the exercise. This section requires the use of direct textual evidence Please do not at all feel obligated to share all or any of the “results” themse

Expert Answer:

Part I:

One space that holds philosophical significance for me is my backyard garden. This space encourages a way of being that is focused and grounded in the present moment. It allows me to connect with the natural world and to engage in reflective contemplation.

The physical location of my backyard garden is a small patch of grass and soil surrounded by a wooden fence. I interact with this space by tending to the plants and flowers that grow there, as well as by simply sitting and observing the surroundings. The act of gardening itself requires mindfulness and a sense of presence, as it involves paying attention to the needs of the plants and the environment in which they grow.

As Pierre Hadot writes in Philosophy as a Way of Life, “the art of living consists in learning to let oneself be surprised by the present moment, instead of clinging to preconceived plans” (94). My backyard garden allows me to practice this art by encouraging me to be present and open to the wonders of the natural world. It also serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things, and helps me to cultivate a sense of gratitude and wonder.

Part II:

Two common philosophical ailments that may characterize a person’s life are impatience and procrastination.

Impatience is a problem because it can lead to frustration, anger, and a lack of contentment with the present moment. It manifests itself in ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that are anxious and rushed, and can cause the person embodying it to miss out on the beauty and richness of the present moment. It can also impact other people by creating tension and conflict in relationships.

Epictetus suggests that we deal with impatience by practicing patience and acceptance, and by reminding ourselves that we cannot control everything in life. He advises us to “accept that some things are out of your control and have the courage to change what you can” (Enchiridion, 12).

Procrastination is a problem because it can lead to feelings of stress, guilt, and a lack of accomplishment. It manifests itself in a tendency to put off tasks or responsibilities, and can have negative effects on a person’s sense of self-worth and their ability to achieve their goals. It can also impact other people by causing delays or disruptions in projects or responsibilities that involve them.

Aristotle views procrastination as a form of irrationality, and suggests that we can overcome it by cultivating habits of discipline and self-control. He advises us to “make the things you do often into habits, for this way, you will do everything more willingly” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1103b).

Part III:

Three mantras that I find valuable and useful for living a peaceful and fulfilling life are:

  1. “Be present”: This mantra serves as a reminder to stay focused and grounded in the present moment, and to resist the temptation to get caught up in worries about the past or the future. It helps me to cultivate a sense of peace and contentment, and to fully engage with the world around me.
  2. “Choose love”: This mantra serves as a reminder to act with compassion and kindness towards myself and others, and to cultivate a sense of love and connection with the world. It helps me to cultivate a sense of inner peace and to build positive relationships with those around me.
  3. “Trust the journey”: This mantra serves as a reminder to let go of the need to control everything in life, and to have faith in the unfolding of events. It helps me to cultivate a sense of surrender and to trust in the unfolding of life’s journey.

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