Ancient philosophers differed from those today in one crucial way:
For them, philosophy was a way of life.
Can science, too, be a way of life?
Philosophy as a way of life
All the ancient philosophers, from Socrates to the Buddha, investigated their world not just for the sake of learning, but in order to discover how to live a flourishing life.
For example, when Socrates asked his fellow Athenians about piety or virtue, it wasn’t just for love of conversation – he wanted to expose the confusion fouling up the unexamined life. When Hypatia of Alexandria explored mathematics and astronomy, it wasn’t just for the sake of learning – she wanted to know how she fit into the cosmos. And when Siddartha Gautama investigated the nature of desire and aversion, it was not out of pure interest in psychology – he wanted to know how to eradicate suffering. All…
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