Adversity, Wisdom, and Exemplarism

Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (4):379-393 (2018)
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According to a venerable ideal, the core aim of philosophical practice is wisdom. The guiding concern of the ancient Greek, Indian, and Chinese traditions was the nature of the good life for human beings and the nature of reality. Central to these traditions is profound recognition of the subjection to adversities intrinsic to human life. I consider paradigmatic exemplars of wisdom, from ancient Western and Asian traditions, and the ways that experiences of adversity shaped their life. The suggestion is that these exemplars, if any, will show how to live wisely in adversity.
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