Posts Tagged ‘plato’



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Aristotle by birth and circumstances was marked for being a boon companion to the royalty. His father was the physician to the king. He had access to the court of King Philip of Macedon and naturally he would be asked when the time was ripe, to undertake the education of his son who later was known as Alexander the great. When he was seventeen he approached Plato to be admitted into his famous Academy. It marked a definite break from his roistering carefree life. Soon his independent spirit and inquisitive mind impressed Plato to refer him as the “mind” of the Academy.
After a seven year stint in Macedon as the tutor he returned to Athens to found the Lyceum which later would be known as the Peripatetic School.
Next he turned his attention to piece together all the learning of the past and present, under different categories and make them available to study for the future generations. In his book Organon he set down six treatises on logic and scientific reasoning. Deductive reasoning that he advocated would later be challenged by inductive approach that was based observation from results of many experiments. In the Metaphysics Aristotle explored the fundamental nature of reality and being, which is the foundation of philosophy.
Aristotle for all his breadth of knowledge and study would espouse an aristocratic point of view naturally imbibed by circumstances of his birth and circumstances.He averred that some are marked from birth for ruling and others for obeying. One would think herein lies the paradox of intellect. Your conscious mind argues impeccably but unconscious mind slips in a few home truths where your own experience and pet peeves half buried, give it an altogether twist.
He agreed with Plato that education should be in the control of the state.
At the age of sixty-one he entered the last phase of his life that began with the news of the death of his patron Alexander the Great. The Macedonian faction at home lost the power and Aristotle by association was vulnerable. He was denounced for piety and went into exile and chose Chalcis, his mother’s homeland where he died in the following year.
Aristotle is said to have written some on thousand manuscripts during his lifetime, unfortunately only a few of them are extant.
From the fifth to the fifteenth, Aristotle was regarded as the fountainhead of all knowledge. Dante considered him as the Master of those who know.’ Reaction came with the Renaissance and Francis Bacon. In whichever case past his admirers and detractors his impact is immeasurable and his synthesis of wisdom owe to his own keen faculties but in the way he spread them as coherent whole ever since at the disposal for all to profit and furtherance of human knowledge is his unique achievement.

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The title is a popular mis-quote attributed to Oliver Cromwell. The Great Protector of Great Britain was to sit for a portrait by the famous portrait painter of his time, -Peter Lely and he cautioned him thus: ‘Mr.Lely, I desire you would use your skill to paint my picture truly like me and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples,warts and everything as you see me,otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.’ (1675?)
In this series I hope to write foibles and follies of great personages of history. These are not biographical sketches but light and shades that reveal their personal lives. Some of the subjects have been already covered in the Pen-Portraits.

Jean Jacques Rousseau(1712-1778)
Rousseau did not consider he would be able to rear children though he wrote Emile(1762) a classic book on education. His five children born to his wife Therese le Vasseur he delivered to the Paris’ Foundling Hospital. The circumstances under which Rousseau was living may have convinced him he was unfit to be a role model. In his defense it must be said that his own painful experiences must have lent his weight to his apparent heartlessness. Later in his twilight years he tried to explain his actions in his Confessions.
“my error was such that, in handing over my children to the State to educate, for want of means to bring them up myself, in deciding to fit them for becoming workmen and peasants rather than adventurers and fortune-hunters, I thought I was
behaving like a citizen and a father, and considered myself a member of Plato’s Republic. More than once since then, the regrets of my heart have told me that I was wrong: but ,far from my reason having given me the same information, I have often blessed Heaven for having preserved them from their father’s lot.’


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Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason: Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612
When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty: –George Mason

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men: –Plato

Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots: –H.L. Mencken
“I BELIEVE that God wants me to be president.” George W. Bush
If we pursue this way, if we are decent, industrious, and honest, if we so loyally and truly fulfill our duty, then it is my conviction that in the future as in the past the Lord God will always help us: Adolf Hitler, at the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on the Buckeburg held on 3 Oct. 1937

compiler:benny thomas

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