This essay aims to offer a new interpretation of Lessing's thought, and particularly to reassess his status as a philosopher. In order to do so, it discusses Pierre Hadot's interpretation of ancient philosophy as a mode of life rather than a system of knowledge, and applies it to Lessing. As a result, Lessing's predilection for Socrates, his insistence on research and his willingness to support dialogue at any level, turn out to be crucial aspects of his debt to ancient culture.
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