“Contentment” by Plutarch (46-120 AD) How can money, reputation or power contribute to happiness & an untroubled life unless men find their presence agreeable & don’t always miss their absence What other than reason can restrain the irrational from getting out of control? Xenophon told us to be mindful ofContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 10” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Let’s discuss pleasure Very important in education to steer between pleasure & pain to enjoy what we ought to & hate what we ought to ensure one’s virtue of character Some say pleasure’s good & some say it’s bad, or thatContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 9” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Relationships between unequals get compensated in one way or another to preserve the relationship Craftsmen receive money for their work in proportion to its value to the buyer & seller Lovers complain that love isn’t returned equally or that the amountContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 8” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Friendship is an indispensable requirement for life Rich & powerful men need them for an outlet for beneficence to safeguard prosperity It’s poor men’s only resource The young need it to stop themselves from doing stupid things The old need itContinue Reading

  “Ethics Book 7” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Let’s talk about 3 moral character types to avoid & their opposites AVOID: Vice, unrestraint & bestiality/brutality WANT: Virtue, restraint & heroic/divine goodness It’s beyond human quality to make a man godlike in virtue Virtue doesn’t exist in gods becauseContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 5” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Need to find the mean between Justice & Injustice Definition – moral disposition that renders men able to do just thing & to want just things (Injustice is the opposite) Not the same as with Science where there are always oppositesContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 4” by Aristotle (349 BC)   Ch. 1 Liberality – in giving & getting wealth, especially giving The virtue is the mean between prodigality & meanness Prodigality – unrestrained, squandering of money usually on debauchery Combination of vices but particularly in wasting one’s own substance – ruining yourselfContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 3” by Aristotle (349 BC)   Ch. 1 Virtue refers to emotion & action Since praise & blame are only given for voluntary actions, what are they? What are involuntary actions? Either out of compulsion or ignorance Must originate outside of the agent & he must contribute nothingContinue Reading

“Ethics Book 2” by Aristotle (349 BC) Ch. 1 Virtue has 2 kinds: intellectual & moral Intellectual – created & increased by instructed which requires time & experience Moral & Ethical – product of habit [ethos] no moral virtues are given at birth by nature – no natural property canContinue Reading

“Meno” by Plato Meno was a young, rich nobleman from Thessaly Anytos was an Athenian politician, later accuser at Socrates’s trial   Meno – Can virtue be taught? Does it come by practice? If neither, do you get it through nature or another way? Socrates – I’ve always thought peopleContinue Reading

“Enchiridion” by Epictetus (c.125) Things you can control: opinion, aim, desire, aversion all of your own affairs by nature free & unrestricted if you confuse them with things you can’t control, you’ll be sad & disappointed if you focus purely on these, you won’t do anything against your will, won’tContinue Reading

Ask: “What are modern virtues?” You might answer things we like: meekness, humility, renunciation of world Would you answer, “Intelligence”? Old idea that intelligence is dangerous Anglo-Saxons have derided the idea of intelligence being important As if you have to choose between being good & intelligent As if stupidity isContinue Reading

David Hume – Of the Study of History Hume advises women of the 1700s to study history Women tended to eschew history & the like for fiction Gives a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives to a girl he likes Tells her that it’s fiction She likes it at first untilContinue Reading

Book IV Chapter One: The General Will is Indestructible When an assembly is gathered, all are convened only to consider one will, the common good, which is apparent and only good sense is need to perceive it. This peace, unity and equality are at odds with political subtleties. Honest andContinue Reading

Book III Chapter One: Government in General Free action is based on two causes: Moral – the will that determines the act; and Physical – the power that executes the act. The legislative power is the moral cause based on the general will and is the sovereign. The executive powerContinue Reading

Book II Chapter One: Sovereignty is inalienable The conclusion of Book I was that only the general will can direct the state’s forces based on the reason behind its establishment: the common good. Clashing interests create the necessity for societies but common interests allow them to continue. Society must onlyContinue Reading

Book I Chapter One: Introduction “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” With respect to force, people will obey if they are forced to. Without the chains of obedience or slavery, life would definitely be better. The former master and former slave may continue a relationship basedContinue Reading

Chapter 1 – Introduction (1-3) Adam was created by God and told to rule and cultivate the earth. But can we really know who is true heirs are? So, divine right of kings is bullshit. Political power is not parental power. Political power is the power to write and executeContinue Reading

“Upon Some Verses of Virgil” by Michel de Montaigne Montaigne is getting older and all he’s got left is to look back at life. He wants to live a comfortable life but wants to be temperate and moderate. This is difficult because comfort requires avoiding pain and that means goingContinue Reading

any That the Relish of Good and Evil Depends in a Great Measure upon the Opinion We Have of Them – Michel de Montaigne People are often bothered by their views on things, not the things themselves. We choose to see them as good or bad. If that’s so, whyContinue Reading