This book presents a history of spiritual exercises from Socrates to early Christianity, an account of their decline in modern philosophy, and a discussion of the different conceptions of philosophy that have accompanied the trajectory and fate of the theory and practice of spiritual exercises. Hadota s book demonstrates the extent to which philosophy has been, and still is, above all else a way of seeing and of being in the world.
Pierre Hadot is Professor of the History of Hellenistic and Roman Thought at the College de France. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1942 to 1946, later becoming first a researcher and then director of studies at the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. He is the author of several landmark essays, collected together in Exercices Spirituels et Philosophie Antique (Second Edition, 1987).