Friday, August 22, 2008


Chapter Two---Aristotle PAGE 77 quote: "Aristotle is resolved to concern himself with the objective present, while Plato is absorbed in a subjective future. Page 77-78 quotes: "Aristotle had a lusty preference for the concrete particular...but Plato so loved the general and universal that in the Republic he destroyed the individual to make a perfect state." page 80 quote: "Before Aristotle, science was in embryo, with him it was born." _________ I think I'm finally getting it as to why Plato's logic is considered deductive whereas Aristotle's logic is considered inductive. ________ page 94 quote:" Artistic creation springs from the craving for emotional expression.....The noblest art appeals to the intellect as well as to the feelings....and this intellectual pleasure is the highest form of joy to which a man can rise. page 96 begins the chapter on Ethics and happiness-quote paraphrasing Aristotle's beliefs: " the aim of life is not goodness of its own sake, but happiness." page 98: "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit" page 102 starts the chapter on politics. Durant paraphrases Aristotle: " The power of the law to secure observance, and therefore to maintain political stability rests very largely on custom....." "Aristotle values individual quality, privacy, and liberty above social efficiency and power. page 104 has Aristotle speaking out against Plato's utopia. Durant paraphrasing Aristotle's views as follows: " The stimulus of gain is necessary to arduous work; and the stimulus of ownership is necessary to proper industry. When everybody owns everything then nobody will take care of anything." "Human nature, on average, is nearer to the beast than to the god. The great majority of men are natural dunces and sluggards; in any system whatever these men will sink to the bottom; and to help them with state subsidies is like pouring water into a leaking cask." He then goes on to explain how Aristotle rationalizes slavery. ` page 107: Aristotle was NOT a feminist like Plato. Ugh. page 111 talks about democracy and aristocracy. Here is a quote on page 114: "Because the people are so easily misled, and so fickle in their views, the ballot should be limited to the intelligent. What we need is a combination of aristocracy and democracy. Constitutional government offers this happy union."

1 comment:

  1. (I chose 'Anonymous' because I do not know what the other options mean.)

    Your site was returned by a Google search for the phrase "natural dunces and sluggards". The search was inspired by reading The Story of Philosophy. I read Durant's Story of Civilization about 15 years ago, and, although The Story of Philosophy was on the same shelf, somehow I didn't get around to starting it until recently.

    In any case, I've been struck by the notion that attempts to categorize 'man' must account for the fact that human qualities are distributed throughout society. Finding "The great majority of men are natural dunces and sluggards; in any system whatever these men will sink to the bottom" completely overlooks the fact that among us are people who are neither dunces nor sluggards. I submit that failure to recognize this important point has cursed the political systems we've developed over the centuries.

    I believe there is a practical means of seeking the 'best' of our people and elevating them to leadership positions. I would like to examine the possibility.

    Fred L. Gohlke
    30 Bernath Street
    Carteret, NJ 07008