Habit and the History of Philosophy  book cover
1st Edition

Habit and the History of Philosophy

ISBN 9781138735644
Published August 31, 2022 by Routledge
278 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $270.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

For Aristotle, habit was a fundamental aspect of human nature; and for William James, it was the "enormous flywheel" of society. In both the history of philosophy and contemporary research, it is acknowledged as a fundamental topic in ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of action, and phenomenology.

This major volume, written by a team of international contributors, is an outstanding collection that offers a thorough and diverse philosophical exploration of habit from the classical period to the modern day. Carefully edited to reflect the breadth of the subject, its 18 chapters are divided into four clear parts:

  • Habit and Ancient Philosophy
  • Habit and Early Modern Philosophy
  • Habit and Modern Philosophy
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Habit.

Key topics, debates, and figures are covered such as the emotions, perception, free will, William James, John Dewey, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, John McDowell, and Hubert Dreyfus.

Habit and the History of Philosophy is essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, ethics, phenomenology, philosophy of action, and pragmatism. It will also be extremely useful for those in related disciplines such as religion, sociology, and history.

Table of Contents

Introduction Jeremy Dunham and Komarine Romdenh-Romluc

Part 1: Habit and Ancient Philosophy

1. Socrates on Habituation and Politics: Plato’s Gorgias 509c6-510a4 Leo Catana

2. Guided Practice Makes Perfect: Habituation into Full Virtue in Aristotle’s Ethics Karen Margrethe Nielsen

3. Aristotle on the Nature of Ethos and Ethismos Margaret Hampson

4. Making Progress: Epictetus on Habituation John Sellars

Part 2: Habit and Early Modern Philosophy

5. Forming the Habit of Thinking Well: Descartes’s Reshaping of the Act of Reasoning Elodie Cassan

6. Habit in Hartley’s Reconciling Project: Between Christian Morality and the Usual Course of Nature Catherine Dromelet

7. Habit and Will in Eighteenth-Century British Philosophy John P. Wright

8. Kant’s Account of Intellectual Habit and Moral Education Carl Hildebrand

Part 3: Habit and Modern Philosophy

9. The Dispositional Account of Habits and Explanation of Moral Action in F.H. Bradley Dina Babushkina

10. Phenomenology as Vocation – A Project Instituted and Habituated by the Will Sara Heinämaa

11. Personal Acts, Habit, and Embodied Agency in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception Justin F. White

12. Deleuze on Habit and Time; or, How to Get, and How Not to Get, from Hume to Bergson Mark Sinclair

Part 4: Contemporary Perspectives on Habit

13. Habit and the Spiritual Life: Perspectives from Christian Mysticism and the Philosophy of Religion Simone Kotva

14. Are Habits Inherited? A Possible Epigenetic Route from Charles Darwin to the Contemporary Debate Mariagrazia Portera and Mauro Mandrioli

15. The Discourse Ecology Model: Changing the World One Habit at a Time Susan Notess

16. Habit and Practice Clare Carlisle

17. Habit-Formation: What’s in a Perspective? Will Hornett

18. Habits in Perception: A Diachronic Defence of Hyperinferentialism Cathy Legg.


View More



Jeremy Dunham is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Durham, UK. He is a co-author of Idealism: The History of a Philosophy (2014), and with Pauline Phemister, co-editor of Monadologies (Routledge, 2018).

Komarine Romdenh-Romluc is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, UK. She is the author of the Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception (2011), and co-edits the book series Routledge Research in Phenomenology.