Aristotle and the Elections
November 3, 2016

“Now it is best that there should be a public and proper care for such matters; but if they are neglected by the [political] community it would seem right for each man to help his children and friends toward virtue.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Elections can make you wonder about where you live. […]

Three Years of Wednesday Quotes
October 26, 2016

“I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day…” Socrates, The Apology Bacon from Acorns, “dedicated to the philosophy of household,” came to birth just over three years ago during my sabbatical from teaching. Since then every Wednesday I have posted. My idea was that […]

As a Good Shoemaker
October 19, 2016

  “Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to pain but through nobility and greatness of soul… For the man that is truly good and wise, we think, bears all the chances of life becomingly and always makes the best […]

Quarrel or Conversation
October 12, 2016

Quarrel or conversation. The distinction is significant. And Plato makes it. Today Crisis Magazine posted my thoughts here on how the recent Presidential debates should make us reflect on the importance of this distinction for public life, and for our most intimate relationships. A Lament on the Declining Quality of Public Discourse

Another’s Good, or My Own?
October 5, 2016

  “For this reason justice, alone of the virtues, is thought to be ‘another’s good,’ because it is related to our neighbor; for it does what is advantageous to another. …and the best man is not he who exercises his virtue towards himself but he who exercises it towards another; for this […]

A Child’s Birthday
September 28, 2016

I remember thinking on my birthday: how can all these people just be going about their business today? Don’t they realize? But the fact was that the key people around me did realize; and they acted like it. And so a child learns. This is a day of celebration. Because of me. […]

Looking to Others, Naturally
September 21, 2016

  “The liberal man…does not value wealth for its own sake but as a means to giving. …for it is the nature of the liberal man not to look to himself.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Studying ethics is not so much about seeing what you should not do. It’s about seeing what you […]

Drama Like No Other
September 14, 2016

  It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics It is not unusual, especially when we’re studying ethics, to have dramatic moments in the classroom. Indeed, no story in […]

Wednesday Quotes
Vulnerable Happiness
September 7, 2016

“That the fortunes of descendants and of all a man’s friends should not affect his happiness at all seems an unfriendly doctrine, and one opposed to the opinions men hold.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle has just argued for one of the cornerstones of his worldview: human happiness most of all consists in […]

Wednesday Quotes
If Desire is Not in Vain
August 31, 2016

“…for at that rate…our desire would be empty and vain.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics The insights of Aristotle never cease to amaze. Assiduously avoiding rash assumptions and unsupported conclusions, he nonetheless boldly makes claims that lesser minds would not dare assert. A man of vast human experience, Aristotle cannot be accused of being naïve. […]