International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series


The Gift of Self

Stephen David Ross
Pages 47-73

Self Care

I wish to take up the subject ... in relation to a set of practices in late antiquity. Among the Greeks, these practices took the form of a precept: epimeleisthai sautou, "to take care of yourself," to take "care of the self," "to be concerned, to take care of yourself." The precept of the "care of the self" [souci de soi] was, for the Greeks, one of the main principles of cities, one of the main rules for social and personal conduct and for the art of life. For us now, this notion is rather obscure and faded. (Foucault, TS, 19)

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