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March 08 , 2008

An Eye for An I

Philosophies of Personal Power


This book discusses ancient and modern philosophers whose ideas enable us to gain insight into and mastery of ourselves. While this sounds like psychology, it is what the ancient Greeks called moral philosophy and its main precept is 'know oneself'.

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Philosophers from Socrates to Sartre, from Plato to Popper, have important things to say about the personal power that underpins human existence. This book outlines nine schools of philosophy and an epic poem that present a body of knowledge capable of evoking in readers values that are guidelines for personal conduct. Harmonising knowledge, values and conduct enables us to solve the practical problems of living and this ability is what we mean by personal power.

The ten philosophies discussed in this book embody ideas of considerable fascination and force which can change lives by penetrating the illusions of appearances of common sense and the delusions of common sense which mislead us. As philosophy is thinking critically about thinking, it is an educational and liberating activity because philosophers confront us with our prejudices and arouse our curiosity without satisfying it.

We cannot escape from philosophy because we philosophise when we reflect critically on how we are living, and relate to other individuals. Philosophy is, therefore, a meditation on who we are: it is An Eye for an I.

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