Tag: Philosophy

Oct 03 2014

The Curse Of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

An almost perfect fantasy novel, with one major exception. Cazaril is a compelling hero but there are parts where his heroism seems less a function of himself than of the story. I loved that he had personality and flaws, but the author sometimes seems to forget those flaws and forego realism for the epic, when …

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Jul 12 2014

Politics by Aristotle

Aristotle’s politics strike me as rather conservative. He believes some democracy is good, but not too much. The lower classes should be kept firmly in their place, and the upper classes should not have their property rights disturbed. He emphatically does not believe that all men are equal. He believes that education should be a …

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May 10 2014

On the Good Life by Cicero

Cicero, they say, was a principled and virtuous man who used his oratorical gifts for the good of the state. In these essays, however, I see not so much virtue as the vanity, self-love, and indulgence of an aristocratic gentleman who is highly pleased with his own accomplishments and evidently believes that his achievements and …

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May 07 2014

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

I am by now used to Aristotle’s inimitable dullness, but this is actually one of his more readable and engaging works. What constitutes the good life? Aristotle believes that a happy life is necessarily a virtuous life, something I myself have grave doubts about. Unlike most Americans, he believes virtue is best exercised in the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/05/07/the-nicomachean-ethics-by-aristotle/

Apr 18 2014

From Socrates to Sartre by T.Z. Lavine

Al Singh

A survey of six of the important figures of Western philosophy: Plato, Descartes, Hume, Hegel, Marx, and Sartre. This was a delightful book, far more interesting and readable than the works of the philosophers themselves. As anyone who has tried to read Aristotle or Heidegger can attest, concise summaries like this are a much more …

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Nov 11 2013

A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

I read this book twenty years ago, but on rereading it I got much more out of it. This survey begins with the pre-Socratics and ends with John Dewey; it does not include the existentialists or the post-modernists, who were not yet influential when this book was written (1943). Russell gives a synopsis of each …

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Aug 21 2012

De Anima by Aristotle

I think of “soul” as another word for consciousness, but Aristotle says remarkably little about consciousness in this book. For Aristotle the primary characteristic of the soul is that it moves or animates the body. The secondary characteristic is that it is endowed with perception through the physical sense organs. By the time he comes …

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Jun 17 2012

The Enneads by Plotinus

This work deserves more discussion than space allows, even though much of it was unintelligible to me. It represents Plotinus’ quest to know and understand God, which for him consists of a trinity: the One, the Intellectual-Principle, and the All-Soul. Part of his problem is that he is trying to describe in words something that …

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Jul 23 2010

Religion and Science by Bertrand Russell

Russell seemed confident, even in 1935 when this book was written, that science had effectively triumphed over religion in the minds of most people. He no doubt would have been appalled to see that in twenty-first century America religious faith is still going strong. But his analysis of the issues that religion and science dispute …

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