Category Archives: Philosophy

Saturnalian Pedantry

“The period of the winter solstice had been always a great festival with the northern nations, the commencement of the lengthening of the days being, indeed, of all points in the circle of the year, that in which the inhabitants … Continue reading

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Gildersleeve and Palladas

Laudator Temporis Acti quotes Basil L. Gildersleeve: Platonic scholars, with rare exceptions, are roughly to be divided into two classes, those who can understand the thought but not the Greek and those who can read the Greek but cannot understand … Continue reading

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Botulism Strikes French Philosopher

This is the best thing of its kind since the Sokol hoax.

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Possibly?

In its article on Leibniz, Wikipedia reports: “No philosopher has ever had as much experience with practical affairs of state as Leibniz, except possibly Marcus Aurelius.” Possibly? Privy Counselor of Justice to the House of Brunswick, trusted adviser to the … Continue reading

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Quotation of the Day

Topsius, a fictional German professor of Biblical archaeology who drinks beer with his breakfast: Socrates é a semente; Platão a flôr; Aristoteles o fructo . . . E d’esta arvore, assim completa, se tem nutrido o espirito humano! (Eça de … Continue reading

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Aphorism Of The Day

El cinismo es una filosofía de adolescente inteligente. Cynicism is a philosphy of the bright adolescent. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Notas, 393)

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An Unlikely Source

Facts about the ancient world, even when mentioned in ancient texts, are not always found in the texts we would think of consulting first, or second, or at all. In his commentary on Martial I, Peter Howell refers (205) to … Continue reading

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Frederick the Great on Shakespeare

This is Richard Stoneman’s paraphrase of a German source: Frederick the Great . . . has strong views as to how these improvements to the German language shall be effected. For a start, something has to be done to prevent … Continue reading

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Gluttony and Self-Knowledge

A link from Martin Kramer led me to two articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education by the pseudonymous ‘Thomas H. Benton’, The 7 Deadly Sins of Students and The 7 Deadly Sins of Professors. Here’s a bit from the … Continue reading

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Aphorism of the Day

Las escuelas filosóficas fueron las órdenes monásticas de la antigüedad.El pitagorismo, por ejemplo, se parece más a la reforma cluniacense que al idealismo alemán. The philosophical schools were the monastic orders of antiquity.Pythagoreanism, for example, has more resemblance to the … Continue reading

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Paeonian Oxen

Laudator Temporis Acti posts a tidbit from Rabelais about the disgusting habits of the Bonasos, or Paeonian ox, with an ancient parallel from the Elder Pliny. Here is what Pseudo-Aristotle has to say on the subject in chapter 1 of … Continue reading

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Dueling Quotations

Aristotle’s is well-known, the first sentence of the Metaphysics: pántes hoi ánthropoi toû eidénai orégontai phúsei. All humans by nature desire knowledge. Plato’s is less well-known, being tucked away in a complex argument in Book VII of the Republic (535e), … Continue reading

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Fulke Art I

I’ve been leafing through Fulke Greville’s Caelica, partly as congenial bedtime reading, partly to try to find a favorite passage from years ago. It turns out to be lines 69-74 of poem LXXXIII: The ship of Greece, the streams and … Continue reading

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Macaulay On Plato And Socrates

I am now deep in Plato, and intend to go right through all his works. His genius is above praise. Even where he is most absurd,–as, for example, in the Cratylus,–he shows an acuteness, and an expanse of intellect, which … Continue reading

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Schopenhauer On Books II

According to Herodotus, Xerxes wept at the sight of his enormous army to think that, of all these men, not one would be alive in a hundred years’ time; so who cannot but weep at the sight of the thick … Continue reading

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Schopenhauer On Books I

As the strata of the earth preserve in succession the living creatures of past epochs, so the shelves of libraries preserve in succession the errors of the past and their expositions, which like the former were very lively and made … Continue reading

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Schopenhauer On Reading II

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents. Ibid.

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Schopenhauer On Reading I

The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, … Continue reading

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