Tuesday, November 14, 2017.
Achilles’ rage is not hubris; Hobbes is mistaken to think that all anger is created the same. Just as there are two kinds of strife according to Hesiod, there are also two kinds of rage with two different origins. There is the one of Ares, and there is one of Zeus. The former may be rooted in hubris, but the latter aims at justice. This latter is a necessary anger which detects injustice — and just as fresh rain makes the soil fertile, divine anger makes the soul fertile for justice.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
No matter what a tyrant can control, there is always going to be a part of the person, of some person, that the tyrant cannot reach. (Perhaps this is the lesson and legacy of the Stoics.) And so long as there is always an agent who rebels against tyranny, there will always be some strife for the tyrant — for it’s a fact that all social, political and physical power is derived from agents. Thus, the tyrant will never have any peace or security. And so long as there is strife for the tyrant, the tyrant must always make moves that are reactive — sort of like a chess king in check.
Friday, October 13, 2017 🕯️
Now, there is, I believe, a common conclusion whenever one attempts to answer the following question in a mathematical way: “What do all the gods love?” (As first posed in Plato’s Euthyphro) And the mathematical conclusion to this question is this: each themselves.
To clarify, the mathematical conclusion to this polytheistic riddle is the “self.” And insofar as anything is a “self,” it must be said to be at least divine (meaning, “of the gods”) even if it might not itself be one of the gods. Thus, even a mortal man like Socrates is also divine, insofar as he is also a self. And so, this is how the “self” comes to be the bedrock and relevant domain of morality.
Sunday, September 17, 2017 🌞
A brief digression, but it is why someone like Machiavelli ends up writing in the style that he does; if he had dared to write more freely, he’d have been put to death or have suffered an even greater grievous injury than he had already suffered. Consider the man who confides thus: “When evening has come, I return to my house and go into my study. At the door I take off my clothes of the day, covered with mud and mire, and I put on my regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them lovingly, I feed on the food that alone is mine and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their humanity reply to me. And for the space of four hours I feel no boredom, I forget every pain, I do not fear poverty, death does not frighten me. I deliver myself entirely to them.” (Niccolo Machiavelli, Letter to Franscesco Vettori)
Monday, September 11, 2017 🌜
I can see why consistency and reliability is in general a beneficial thing, but I also don’t think that consistency and reliability is the actually best thing to have by itself. I would think that a bit of irrationality is what allows us to not only exist safe and sound, but also to thrive.
Wednesday , August 30, 2017 🌊
But if this is right, then this is still interesting — because if I were to want to realize a certain sort of theoretical world — namely, a world with an environment that would be more helpful/beneficial to a certain sort of subject, like a Socratic subject, a healthy subject — then, I suppose that the best way I could do that is by looking to that subject as my guide to building such a world. And, if I had such a desire/aim to build such a theoretical world, I think that my goal would be not to change my healthy subject, but simply to accommodate the world to my subject. I would want to realize a world in which whatever my healthy subject found pleasant, would be guaranteed to benefit her as well.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 🔥
I think that empathy involves actually relating another person’s current experience with one’s own past experience — and so ultimately, empathy reminds me of my own past experience and my own emotional response is regarding my own past experience and not the other person’s. On the other hand, sympathy is when I relate my past experiences to imagine what the other person is now experiencing. But in sympathizing, I am not now dwelling on my own past experiences as I am doing when I am empathizing. I simply use my past experiences to justify, support, or understand what the other person is now experiencing. And so, I think that this is the key difference between sympathy and empathy. [At least, in my experience, it is.]
Thursday, August 24, 2017
In the Republic, the just man and the unjust man are said to be indistinguishable but for one tiny thing: pleasure. Even if a just man and an unjust man were to live the exact same life, the very same life is painful for the unjust man while it is pleasant for the just man. And this is why the just man is said to profit more from living a just life, than the unjust man; the just man gets a free cherry on top, which the unjust man does not get.
Sunday, August 20, 2017. 🌞
Now, one major problem which I noticed about the De Finibus is that Cicero uses the words honestum and bonum and even virtus and iustitia somewhat interchangeably as if to make no significant distinction between these notions. And so he (or his readers) must consider respectability (ie, honestum), desirability (ie, bonum), authenticity (ie, virtus) and genuineness (ie, iustitia) amount to be the same one thing. But, me thinks that doing this only dulls the blade, instead of sharpening it.
Friday, August 18, 2017.
If so, then Kant’s “freedom” is a freedom from pleasure, hope, imagination and passion. It is a freedom that blindly and mechanistically follows the way of psychic fate to arrive at its logical conclusion.
But I am interested in getting at the truth. And is that where truth lives? Is truth always in every logical conclusion? Somehow, I doubt it. I cannot imagine a truth without pleasure, hope, imagination, beauty and passion…
“People are a strange sort of creature,” someone said to me once. Yes, people are I think. Quite strange indeed.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017. 🌊
It’s quite simple. One need only look to Homer’s Iliad, to the scene at lines 552-570 in Book 24, where Achilles warns Priam not to anger him by attempting to make bargains with him or to otherwise attempt to bribe him into doing what is just.
Sunday, July 30, 2017.
Habituation can quickly turn into a case of popular deference to convention. And popular convention tends to be quite hostile and brutal to that tender thing I call truth.
It can’t be mere convention that makes something truly virtuous. Truth comes from self-discovery through sensitivity to pleasures and pains, freedom, and encounters with nature; not by a positive habituation to what is artificial and arbitrary.
Saturday, July 22, 2017.
The practices and habits of the majority are not always healthy or correct — though, I’ll certainly allow that they could be. On my view, the “majority” could only have healthy practices if that group is made up of sovereign individuals who each have sufficient respect for the truth that is within each individual; and so each member of the group would have cultivated a sensitivity to it, and would be responsive to it. This is the only way that the “wisdom of the masses” can work correctly.
Saturday, June 24. 2017🌎
A complete happiness — ie, a true happiness — requires consciousness of one’s happy state.
Tuesday. June 20, 2017.🔥
I had asked him: “Would you follow your God, even if you knew that following your God would lead you to hell?”
He had two answers. The first one he gave was this: “Following God would not lead me to hell.” But then I pressed him further, insisting that he take my hypothetical situation seriously. And finally he answered, “No, I would not follow God if I knew that following him would lead me to hell.” And I remember responding to him saying that if I were God, I would not want people to follow me simply because they wanted to go to heaven or to avoid going to hell, because what they would be choosing in those cases is not to follow me for my own sake, but for the benefits that choosing to follow me would bring them.
Thursday, June 15, 2017.
On my view, morality concerns what is good or bad and what is pleasant and painful — and these things can only be assessed by the sovereign individual, the God, the Self. No one else has the authority to judge these things.
Monday, June 12, 2017.
And so, it is this fact that Socrates knows that he knows no-thing that proves that Socrates’ questions are necessarily sincere. That is, they are not rhetorical questions. They’re very genuinely questions.