Not entirely off topic: Aristotle revisitedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I had the pleasure of receiving a couple of emails asking about Aristotle and virtue, so I am providing a link to an old article that I wrote for black newspapers across the country and it also happened to be included on the New Renaissance web site to which the link will take you-- if you cut and paste, etc.
Sincerely, Stan Faryna
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 1999
Thank you Stan, this is a very informative article. It seems there are a number of traditional codes of ethics that would be interesting and useful, if people would ever pay attention to them. Personally, I think more teaching of history, real live fascinating stuff, would offer a concrete framework for seeing ethics and their lack in operation. For example, in introducing Aristotle, it is interesting to consider to what degree his 'star' pupil, Alexander the Great, incorporated or failed to incorporate the teachings.
Alexander would actually be an arresting topic to the average high- schooler if properly presented - a young gay man, likely the greatest military genuis of all time ("don't ask don't tell policy" ? hmmm...., personally led every battle his army fought, evidently consumed by a completely pointless need to apply his youthful energy to conquering the known world... Died at an aesthetically satisfying young age.... (good career move, as one critic said when he was told of Sylvia Plath's suicide...)
Why all this ? Food for thought.
Thanks for the meal, -BH
-- Blue Himalayan (email@example.com), May 04, 1999.
STAN: It has been my intention to respond to you since you posted a thoughtful response to my "THE NEXT 8 MONTHS." I had some time today to do so but when I logged on I noticed your post referencing Aristotle. I just finsihed it......
Without creating a lengthy "off-topic" response, it was inspiring! Thank you for steering me there! It might be of some interest to you, that when I worked for IBM, the division had - as one of its most prized awards, a beautiful clear lucite trapezoid, resting on a flat black base, with the following inscription: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit." The quotation is from Aristotle. It is one of my most valued momentos I received for my work at IBM.
I will continue to look for your posts........
-- Dave Walden (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 1999.
Stan, I just printed it out and am going to take it home and read it. Looks like fascinating stuff.
-- Scott Johnson (email@example.com), May 04, 1999.
Stan -- Excellent. Had opportunity to study Aristotle (source materials only, which was the way at my college) as a freshman (Ethics, Politics, Poetics, Metaphysics and a bit of the Physics). Here is one of the handful of colossal intellects of the ages, totally ignored in today's basic education. That says it all.
OT: I'll never forget the first question in my first freshman seminar, which covered the Iliad, Books 1-6. The tutor asked,
"Based on your reading, would you say that our culture has advanced or regressed since Homer."
Titters. All of us bright, system-trained high school grads knew the answer, OF COURSE. By the end of the first seminar two hours later, we were no longer so sure ......
(BTW, Scott -- were you in SW development before doing the journalism gig? Common name, I know, but I knew someone by that name who ran a small business in CT).
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 04, 1999.
BigDog, I actually did live in Stamford and was running my own web site, but it was journalistic in nature...
-- Scott Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 1999.
Dang, sounds like my freshman year. On a Monday, went to my first "tutorial" for Humanities 101, and got hit with "Read first 10 books of The Iliad and summarize the Catalog of Ships. Due Wednesday." *gulp* Great class, though.
-- Mac (email@example.com), May 05, 1999.