International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

When Foucault Met Xenophon: How the Ecosystem of the Ancient Greek Moderation Establishes a Modern Aesthetic of Existence
Nikolaos Tsiros

Late Foucault completes his study about the phenomenon of power with the analysis of the so-called “Practices of Self” which define the moral formation of the subject. The concept of the “Practices of the Self” is related to the methods which affect the body, the soul, the thoughts and the behavior of the individuals so that they subsequently form themselves. Foucault discusses with the ancient Greek moral philosophy and describes a series of practices of living, through which the aesthetic experience of “living well” arises. In Xenophon’s Oeconomicus an early ecosystem of the ancient Greek measure emerges, where starting from οικος = home the problem of the governing in relation to self and the closest others is posed. The self-control emerges as the condition for a financially self-sufficient home and by extension for a fair and happy town. The study attempts to answer the question to what extent the ecosystem of Oeconomicus can still be of use and applied in modern times which are characterized by radical individualisation and social disintegration. If, subsequently, the different socioeconomical structure of modernity in relation to the basically rural economy of antiquity renders unnecessary or not the association of these two levels.

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