Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-8-2020


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Pat Arneson

Committee Member

Janie Harden Fritz

Committee Member

Erik Garrett


Hadot, Pierre; Communication; Philosophy of Communication; Philosophy


Pierre Hadot’s holistic philosophy of communication attends to the health of the self and community through practice of spiritual exercises for the transformation of one’s entire being, working at the nexus of mind, body, soul, and cosmos. The task is ever-incomplete, works in an understanding of “human being as essentially an exposure that lacks a closed identity” and “keep[s] sight of the opening, wound, or lack that remains at the heart of any community and all communication” (Butchart 136). This is responsive to the present moment experiencing disjointed experience of time and space, increased anxiety, underdeveloped capacity for attention, and cultural forms that privilege stimuli over reflection. These conditions make it difficult to recognize and form responses to fundamental questions: How do I live a good life? What does death mean? What purpose is there in this life? This dissertation works through the major themes in Hadot’s work and demonstrates how it offers insight into adopting and adapting ancient philosophical attitudes, working toward inner peace in shifting existential conditions, gaining perspective by taking ‘a view from above’, and fostering a love of humankind all born through the understanding that we are fundamentally in relation with others in human communication.