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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, fitter, and smarter with the purchase of quite a few basic practices, the discourse of behavior is a staple of latest tradition low and high. dialogue of behavior, even though, has a tendency to forget the main primary questions: what's behavior? conduct, we are saying, are demanding to wreck. yet what does it suggest to damage a behavior? the place and the way do behavior take root in us? Do simply people collect conduct? What bills for the power or weak point of a behavior? Are conduct whatever possessed or whatever that possesses? We spend loads of time pondering our conduct, yet hardly will we imagine deeply in regards to the nature of behavior itself.

Aristotle and the traditional Greeks famous 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 relevant part within the conceptual framework of many key figures within the heritage of philosophy. much less favourite 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 amassed during this ebook display that the philosophy of behavior isn't really restricted to the paintings of only a handful of thinkers, yet traverses the full historical past of Western philosophy and maintains to thrive in modern theory.

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

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Extra info for A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu

Sample text

But Seneca believes that even habits which we had no part in choosing to live with can alleviate our suffering. Indeed, conditions imposed upon us against our will that are initially onerous can gradually become lighter thanks to the effects of habit. Bear in mind that it is only at first that prisoners are worried by the burdens and shackles upon their legs. Later, when they have resolved not to chafe against them, but to endure them, necessity teaches prisoners to bear their shackles bravely, habit to bear them easily.

Kraut, “Nature in Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics,” Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2007): 207–9, 212–17. McDowell’s influential “Two Sorts of Naturalism” is self-consciously influenced by Aristotle’s discussion of character development and his account of “second nature” naturalism captures well the sense in which Aristotelian moral 32 development is transformative. See especially J. McDowell, “Two Sorts of Naturalism,” in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 169–73.

Homiak, “Politics as Soul Making: Aristotle on Becoming Good,” Philosophia 20 (1990): 167–93; C. D. C. Reeve, “Aristotelian Education,” in Philosophers on Education, ed. A. O. Rorty (London and New York: Routledge, 1998), 51–65; R. Kraut, “Aristotle on Method and Moral Education,” in Method in Ancient Philosophy, ed. J. Gentzler (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998), 271–90; and H. Fossheim, “Nature and Habituation in Aristotle’s Theory of Human Development,” Acta Humaniora, no. 166, Oslo, 2003. 20. For the contrast between Aristotle’s method and behavioralism, see further Bartok, “Aristotle on Habituation,” 13–14.

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