Being Intentional in the New Year
January 3, 2018

“Men will be good or bad builders as a result of building well or badly… Thus, in one word, states of character arise out of like activities. This is why the activities we exhibit must be of a certain kind…” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics The activities we perform must be of a certain […]

Intentional Friendship
November 29, 2017

“In choosing and testing friends you should not grow weary of caution, for the fruit of this labor is medicine for life and the most solid foundation for immortality.” Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship In his great treatise Aelred names four steps of true friendship. The first two, on which he focuses […]

Perfect Friendship
September 20, 2017

“Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Perfect friendship: the words sound like a fairy tale. What Aristotle means here is the kind of friendship that is most true, the kind of friendship that most fulfills the human heart. Not every friendship […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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
A Greek You Should Remember
January 13, 2016

“…he possessed himself of the most kingly and divine appellation of Just…” Plutarch, speaking of Aristides Some might see reading about great men, especially of the ancient world, as simply a pleasant diversion, or even a kind of escape. Why, one might wonder, should I bother to remember? Aristides (530-468 BC) certainly […]

Wednesday Quotes
Taking Care of Things
October 21, 2015

“Come, then, let’s consider this: Is there some function of a soul that you couldn’t perform with anything else, for example, taking care of things, ruling, deliberating, and the like? Is there anything other than a soul to which you could rightly assign these..?” Socrates, in Plato’s Republic Some questions are so […]

Wednesday Quotes
The Festivity of the Just
September 16, 2015

“Men whose justice is straight know neither hunger nor ruin, but amid feasts enjoy the yield of their labors.” Hesiod, Works and Days Festivity. The word brings longing to the heart; we find ourselves wondering where it can be found. In describing a flourishing society Hesiod points especially to the festivity of […]

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