the imaginative conservative logo

Aristotle

3 1064

Aristotle identified man’s eating habits as one of the cornerstones of civilization—one of two activities that highlighted the nature of man’s exquisiteness (and barbarousness). The importance of eating to the human condition should be self-evident to everyone. But what is...
1 480

Should honor and fame no longer be ends of ambition in such a world? The ancient philosophers doubted the ultimate merit of fame, but they also looked for the most spirited students, those most inclined to “undertake extensive and arduous enterprises"...
0 799

If one cannot hope for an informed citizenry—and the evidence is overwhelming that such a hope is futile—one must hope for something else: a formed citizenry. For the remedy for thoughtlessness is not information; it is thought, thought about what man is, what the good man is,...
1 1106

While Athenian individualism was a far cry from the individualism of modern liberal societies, its brief existence and quick demise teach an important lesson about the fragility of any social order willing to emphasize or tolerate the idea that an individual has dignity in his own right...
1 1678

Except for mystics, the goal of Western philosophers and theologians has been to find the right ideas, whereas Eastern thinkers seek the direct grasping of the first principles and the inner essences of natural things. I wish to suggest that the Western and Eastern paths to the true,...
3 1004

A recent essay proposes Aristotle to have “opened a path” to today’s radical individualism and relativism. In order to evaluate this thesis, we must turn to the Great Tradition of the “perennial philosophy” and ask what the great philosophers taught about virtue, justice, friendship, and...
0 944

Modern philosophy, empirical science, and our social sciences stand mute before moral questions and the human spirit. Let us, therefore, turn to the Ancients for their understanding of alcohol's effects upon the soul... “What’s this chemical ferment called life all about? I shall be impelled to strong...
6 2030

Aristotle’s reasoning about virtue, with its emphasis on man’s relationship to his own soul and man’s ability to perfect his own virtue, opened a path to relativism and radical individualism... All philosophical inquiry is united by two foundational elements....
1 1668

Sexual misconduct is usually characterized as some kind of “power grab,” typically carried out by ruthless men seeking to prey upon the vulnerability of a woman. Yet Plato suggests that disordered sexual desire is a problem of the democratic soul...
1 1063

To do the honorable thing is to submit the whole of one's being to the belief that there is underlying all human life and interaction, and indeed all of existence, a universal sense of right and wrong... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our...
4 2385

The masters of slaves, it turned out, were themselves neither independent nor self-sufficient, but were bound to, and reliant upon, their slaves both for their welfare and their identity. This vague recognition in part accounts for the grim tone that Thomas Jefferson adopted in his analysis of...
1 1597

Much of suffering is an impenetrable mystery. But to a limited degree, we are able to understand suffering if we can come to understand what love is... Pope John Paul II, in Salvifici Doloris,...
3 2648

Only where Democracy and Aristocracy are harmonized and unified culturally can a nation really be healthy and advanced; its history becomes the awe of the world... “Be it known to you that a son is born to me; but I thank the gods not much that...
1 2063

Although the potential range of emotional experience is essentially the same in all human beings, each culture exhibits its own patterns, inculcating certain feelings while discouraging others, promoting either expression or restraint, and defining variously the place of the emotions in everyday life...