Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
In the Gorgias, Socrates reveals to the [wise] tyrant the method to achieve what she wants. Basically, the advice to the would-be tyrant is that one may attract more flies by means of honey than by vinegar. That is, by offering other people what they want (eg, liberty to do as they please, to eat or drink or smoke as they please, etc), they will give the tyrant what she wants (which, presumably, is money and power).
Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
I was just thinking about the cases that we normally say that people do for the sake of doing the activity itself and not for the sake of its beneficial consequences. For instance, activities like singing in the shower. Presumably, people sing in the shower because they want to and they find it pleasurable to do so. So in the cases that we normally say that people do for the sake of doing the activity itself and not for the sake of its beneficial consequences, it’s actually the case that people do such things for the sake of pleasure…
Sunday, November 5, 2017
[Daylight Savings Time Ends]
But an action (properly speaking of the word) requires an intention; an action isn’t just a bunch of motion. And since automatons lack intention, they also lack the capacity for action. Only persons can perform actions because a person knows what she is aiming for, and why.
Thursday, November 2, 2017.
“You call for justice.
But God speaks through me.
Only I, Pallas Athene,
Possess the key
That unlocks the thunderbolt of Zeus.
But the time of brute force
The day of reasoned persuasion,
With its long vision,
With its mercy, its forgiveness,
The world hurled in anger shall be caught
In a net of gentle words,
Words of quiet strength.”
(Aeschylus, The Oresteia, Part 3: “Eumenides”)
Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
In some sense, it’s enough that there is a place in between the pages of Homer and Plato that I can escape to. But having my utopia alone would make me retreat too much into a “no place” — and perhaps that isn’t so healthy (for a material girl).
I also need a physical space where I can safely leave my “Neverland” behind, on occasion, and be present in this world as well. I need a physical space that is something between utopia and the real world — some place that is sufficiently detached from the rest of the world, but is at the same time somehow anchored in the world. And for now at least, that place is my private office. I have managed to keep the outside world at bay so that it may not impose itself into my space here — yet. In the best moments, I find myself calm and at peace here. And in this calm, I feel that I can get to the task of listening to my heart and putting my thoughts into order. If instead, I could work in some small quiet cabin out in the forests of Walden (and take along all of my books to that place and somehow get my laptop and internet to work out there), I might prefer to do that instead…
Sunday, October 29, 2017 🌞
So long as the audience continues to hear an inaccurate translation, the equivocation would occur by default. What’s more, it would be the fault of the audience’s translation, and not a case of the speaker’s deliberate misuse of terminology. The only remedy for this that I can think of is to give the audience a better translation, instead of blaming the speaker. And I believe that this remedy is something that I may be able to provide.
Saturday, October 28, 2017.
“The following summer, however, her ill health suddenly overwhelmed her. She became completely incapacitated as she was attempting to escape—or ‘elope’, as her last letter to me put it—to Europe. She was denied medical leave and, subsequently, tenure by her university, and had to be rescued by Myles Burnyeat, whom she had come to know through his visiting appointments in the Pittsburgh department. Myles took her to England, cared for her through the extraordinary pain of her illness, and finally allowed her to find the happiness that had eluded her in America. (They were married in the winter of 2002.) She died in Cambridge in the early spring of 2003.” (Charles Brittain, From Protagoras to Aristotle: Essays in Ancient Moral Philosophy, “Introduction”, p.xi)
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.