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Hellenistic Ethics from Nietzsche to Foucault

Abstract: Philosophical interest in the ethical ideal of self-cultivation has increased in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as philosophers have sought alternatives to deontological and utilitarian theories. This interest has been most evident in the widespread revival of virtue ethics, although contemporary virtue ethicists tend to focus on Aristotle's account of character formation. Philosophers in the modern European tradition, however, have been influenced by other views on self-cultivation from the Hellenistic period. Nietzsche’s account of self-cultivation, for instance, is closer to Epicurus’s than Aristotle’s, while Foucault draws extensively on Stoicism and Cynicism for his account. The insights of these thinkers suggest that we may deepen and expand our understanding of self-cultivation by reassessing the merits of the Hellenistic tradition.

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Thursday 25th September


WORKSHOP: Dr. John Sellars (King’s College London)
What was Hellenistic Philosophy?


Dr. Kurt Lampe (University of Bristol)
Kristeva, the Stoics, and the Life of Interpretation


Prof. Keith Ansell-Pearson (University of Warwick)
Self-Cultivation as an Ethics of Resistance: On Nietzsche’s Dawn

Friday 26th September 


Prof. Beatrice Han-Pile (University of Essex)
Hope and Agency

Parallel Session

Thomas Ryan (Monash)
Amor Fati: Nietzsche’s Anti-Hellenistic Love of Fate

Mariangela Pellegrini (Sorbonne)
Nietzsche and Foucault Against the ‘Education of the Time’

Dr. Andrew Tyler (Warwick)
The Poverty of the Surplus: Overcoming Accumulation through an Ethics of Self-realisation

Thomas Kriza (FU Berlin)
How the Conception of Truth Affects the Modern Revival of Antique Ethical Self-Cultivation

Parallel Session

James Muldoon (Monash)
Self-Cultivation and the Indebted Subject

Hedwig Gaasterland (Leiden)
Hellenistic Lessons in Nietzsche’s Gay Science IV for Dealing with Fate

Jonathan Head (Keele)
Schopenhauer and the Stoics

Dr. Anna Bergqvist (MMU)
Moral Perfection and Situated Evaluative Thought


Dr. Edward Harcourt (Oxford University)
Nietzsche and the Virtues

Saturday 27th September


Dr. David Webb (Staffordshire University)
Truth-Telling in Foucault’s Account of the Constitution of the Subject

Parallel Session

Neil Durrant (Monash)
The Significance of Personal Relationships in Nietzsche’s Middle Period

Alexander Badman-King (Exeter)
Askesis and Elitism

Manolis Simos (Cambridge)
Michel Foucault’s Genealogy of Truth-telling as Aesthetics of Existence

Dr. Lisa Hicks (Stanford)
Cultivating What Self ? Philosophy as Therapy in the Genealogy of Morals and Hellenistic Ethics

Parallel Session

Andre Okawara (Monash)
The Physiological Character of Values

Dr. Ashley Woodward (Dundee)
Nietzsche, Transhumanism, and Technologies of the Self

Dr. Matthew Sharpe (Deakin)
Pierre Hadot, the Invisible Philosopher

Dr. Heikki Kovalainen (Tampere)
Self-Culture as Religion: Emersonian Ethics and Spirituality


Prof. Daniel Conway (Texas A & M University)
Elegy and Affirmation in Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo


 Project Members
Warwick 2014
Prato 2015