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 up to date tradition low and high. dialogue of behavior, despite the fact that, has a tendency to forget the main primary questions: what's behavior? behavior, we are saying, are tough to wreck. yet what does it suggest to damage a behavior? the place and the way do conduct take root in us? Do in basic terms people collect conduct? What debts for the power or weak point of a behavior? Are behavior anything possessed or whatever that possesses? We spend loads of time puzzling over our behavior, yet not often will we imagine deeply concerning the nature of behavior itself.

Aristotle and the traditional Greeks well-known 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 be aware of that behavior is a significant part within the conceptual framework of many key figures within the heritage of philosophy. much less standard 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 accumulated during this booklet show that the philosophy of behavior isn't constrained to the paintings of only a handful of thinkers, yet traverses the whole heritage of Western philosophy and maintains to thrive in modern theory.

A background of behavior: From Aristotle to Bourdieu is the 1st of its type to rfile the richness and variety of this heritage. It demonstrates the breadth, flexibility, and explanatory energy of the idea that of behavior in addition to its enduring value. It makes the case for habit’s perennial charm for philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists.

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See, for instance, Rep. 334bc. 31. Aristotle’s claim that we are individually responsible for our character states has generated much scholarly debate. For a recent overview, see P. Destrée, “Aristotle on Responsibility for One’s Character,” in Moral Psychology and Human Action in Aristotle, eds. M. Pakaluk and G. Pearson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 285–318. 32. See 1105b28–1106a2. Although Categories VIII clearly distinguishes hexis and diathesis, Aristotle will often use them synonymously in the Ethics.

A. Kosman, “Being Properly Affected: Virtues and Feelings in Aristotle’s Ethics,” in Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, ed. A. O. Rorty, 103–16 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980). For a description of the process by means of which hexeis produce pathê or emotions, see M. Oele, “Passive Dispositions: On the Relationship between pathos and hexis in Aristotle,” Ancient Philosophy 32 (2012): 351–68. 22. For parallels between ethical hexis and the arts, see 1103a31–32, 1103b6–14, 1105a8–10, 1106b9–14; for parallels between ethical hexis and medical states, see 1104a14–18, 29–30, 1105b12–18.

Runners’ legs are nimble. Regular exercise of a body part or faculty makes it strong and sturdy. Seneca reflects that the Germanic tribes along the Danube, oppressed by gloomy skies and eternal winter, eke out their sustenance scratching up meager crops from barren soil and ranging over icy marshes hunting wild beasts, and shelter in thatch-roofed hovels. Yet he imagines them happy, because their austere habits have returned them to nature. ”[51] His idea is this: what we get used to, we come to like.

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