Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Theme: Aristotle

  • Critics have long held that, even if Cervantes was at least somewhat aware that his work would be successful, this was only because he knew it was funny, and hoped that, in reading it, as he famously wrote in his first preface to Don Quixote, "the melancholy would be moved to laughter, and the merry made merrier still." Read more
  • The apocryphal story of Phyllis and Aristotle is captivating for a number of reasons. For one thing, it recalls for us a period in the history of culture in which philosophy, and philosophers, were implicated not just in elite disputation, but also in popular lore and moral instruction. The tale of Phyllis and Aristotle is an exemplum, that is, a stock lesson telling you — and here, 'you' is not a subtle follower of philosophical arguments, but a simple fellow influenced by memorable stories accompanied by vivid images — what you ought not to do.Read more
  • A really fascinating and, as we shall see in a moment, somewhat nasty dispute has exploded in the philosophical public sphere, and I think it’s going to be interesting to see why - both sides have a very good point.Read more
  • I attended a troubled, inner-city high school in Minneapolis, became disenchanted with formal education, and went to college more or less by accident—a long story involving my then-girlfriend’s dental work. I registered for classes at the University of Minnesota at the last minute (as one could in those days), stumbled almost by accident into a Greek History course, and was immediately taken by the subject matter and the austere manner in which it was presented.Read more
  • The most recently published lecture course from Michel Foucault’s time at the Collège de France is his first, entitled ‘La Volonté de Savoir’—the will to know or the will to knowledge.Read more
  • Ships as far as the eye can see. The rising sun glittering on the Aegean. Wind rippling the sails, water lapping the bows, fear, excitement, vengeance, glory, the favor of the gods, the order contemplated, the order given.Read more
  • Aristotle commended the poets for their ability to portray the ways in which fate tests character and to display how human weaknesses may be amplified in unusual situations.Read more
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