Charles Snyder

Undergraduate Discipline


BA, The Catholic University of America. MA, PhD, New School for Social Research. Postdoctoral Fellowships at Bard College, The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities; Bard Prison Initiative; and the University of Hamburg, Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies. Research Interests in the history of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, especially the early Hellenistic period, and social and political philosophy. Author of Beyond Hellenistic Epistemology (Bloomsbury, 2021) and published papers in Ancient PhilosophyBochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter, Review of Metaphysics, and Études platoniciennes. SLC 2023–

Previous Courses


Ancient Philosophies as Ways of Living in Truth

Open, Seminar—Fall

Philosophy is often studied as one discipline among other academic disciplines. For most of its long history, however, philosophy was nothing of the sort. It involved a way of living; of regulating desire, grief, rage, and fear of death; and theoretical contemplation, of course, especially on the nature of truth—but theory was always embedded within a practical concern for the best life humanly possible. We explore this alternative practice of philosophy by examining Ancient Greek and Roman philosophical traditions and interrogating how those philosophers exercised a mode of thinking that inculcates an entire way of living in truth. Ancient philosophers to be discussed include Parmenides, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, Diogenes the Cynic, Aristotle, Epicurus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Sextus Empiricus. We also discuss recent historians of this tradition who try to revitalize this practice, such as Pierre Hadot, Jan Patočka, and Michel Foucault. Thus, we survey not only Ancient Greek and Roman theoretical practice but also interrogate whether this practice of doing philosophy is viable today or even worthy of revitalization and, if so, how to go about living a philosophical life in the present.