Category Archives: Aristotle

Why humility is not a deadly sin, with Aristotle and Descartes

In Part One of his Discourse on Method, René Descartes offers a low appraisal of the work of ancient moral writers: “I compared the writings of the ancient pagans that deal with morals to very proud and very magnificent palaces that … Continue reading

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Magnanimity and Christianity

One of my favorite parts of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is the description in IV.3 of the virtue of “pride” or, in other translations, “magnanimity.” And because I teach at The Catholic University of America, reading this section with my classes … Continue reading

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Pleasures and Pains: the right education

Were a philosopher to suddenly jump out from behind a bush and ask you, “What is education?” my guess is that you, like me, would answer something like “imparting knowledge.” Now the philosopher (who, incidentally, is likely to look like … Continue reading

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On a lighter note, with Aristotle and Will Smith: robots, zombies, and aliens

If you have wasted enough time on the ‘net these last couple of years, you will no doubt have run into the triple Venn diagram reproduced to the left of this paragraph. Now in philosophy, diagrams of this sort have a … Continue reading

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Communal Discernment

About a year ago, we had a teacher’s meeting about the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s book On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life. The meeting had some intriguing moments, such as when I suggested that the concept of a … Continue reading

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Questioning the Question: Philosophy, Love, and Marriage

College students may hate a statistics class, but they rarely question its usefulness or value. They know it has “real-world applications,” even if they loathe every minute of it. It is not so with a philosophy class. Unlike other disciplines, … Continue reading

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No Community, No Christian

Allow me to begin with a rather underwhelming statement: the Ascension of Christ into heaven was a communal event. It did not take place before some individual believer with a great personal relationship with Jesus, but before the “disciples” and … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, Catholicism, John Locke | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments