The Central Role of Reason and Rational Argument in Ancient Philosophy: On a Common Objection to Hadot and Foucault

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


I will engage with criticisms regarding the apparent neglect of reason and rational argument in Hadot and Foucault. I will argue that, according to ancient philosophers, reason requires exercises and practices of self-transformation in order to be developed and strengthened, and that even though Hadot and Foucault tend not to emphasize the rational element, their respective concepts of spiritual exercises and practices of the self can and should be understood as involving at their core a transformation of reason and of one’s relation to it.
Period18 Nov 2021
Event titleHadot and Foucault on Ancient Philosophy: Critical Assessments
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Reason
  • Rational argument
  • Self-transformation
  • Spiritual exercises
  • Practices of the self