The Meaning of Things
As the phrase suggests, the ‘considered life’ is a life enriched by thinking about things that matter – values, aims, society, the characteristic vicissitudes of the human condition, desiderata both personal and public, the enemies of human flourishing, and the meaning of life.
Moral exhortation –
Condign punishment –
Aqua Tophana –
Ludus – the playful eefection of children
Pragma – The understanding that exsists between a long established married couple.
Storge – The love that grows between siblings or comrades in arms who have been through much together.
Eros – sexual passion.
Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
It says that the human community benefits by permitting a variety of lifestyles to flourish, because they represent experiments from which much might be learned about how to deal with the human condition.
Hellen Keller said that ‘the highest result of education is tolerance’
What underlines tolerance is the recognition that there is plenty of room in the world for alternatives to coexist, and that if one is offended by what others do, it is because one has let it get under one’s skin.
He that spares the bad injures the good.
Ill-mannered people are generally so because they falsely estimate their own self worth.
Obviously enough, no one can sustain a relationship without accommodating the others character and some at least of his or her needs and ways. It means negotiation, always in the hope of constructive and mutually satisfactory adjustment. But the truism that people change over time is so often forgotten in relationships that failure, if it happens, comes as a surprise to parties, who have missed their opportunities to renegotiate the old contract when new compromises were needed.
Fear is an enemy of endeavour. Fear, said Aeschylus, makes us weak. It subverts confidence, interferes with performance, lames resolve. And it distorts perceptions, creating obstacles and monsters where non exist.
As the saying has it, the coward dies a thousand deaths, the courageous man only one. The same applies to fear of pain – the dentists drill is suffered for hours in anticipation before the ten minutes of actuality.
Death is a state of non being, equivalent to that of the state of not yet being born. There is nothing to fear in that.
No man is brave unless he is afraid.
If there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a way that one gives oneself cause for regret in the end.
It is what we aspire to be that colours our characters – and it is our trying, not just our succeeding, which ennobles them.
Think of those you care about, imagine them mourning when you die, and ask yourself how much sorrow you would wish them to bear. The answer would surely be, neither too much, nor for too long. You would wish them to come to terms with the loss, and thereafter to remember the best of the past with joy; and you would wish them to continue life hopefully, which is the natural sentiment of the human condition.
Stoic philosophers of
Being dead is indistinguishable from dreamless sleep.
For people seeking asylum in free, rich countries, so that they can have the life denied them in the unfree and impoverished homelands, hope, peace, opportunity for a new life, is their chief possession.
Perseverance is a good trait except when applied to inappropriate aims.
As Ruskin said, it is not what we get, but what we become by our endevours that makes them worthwhile.
Tact is an intelligent virtue, everyone can be frank, even the simple and carless; but not everyone can finely adjust how and what he says to ameliorate human intercourse, through which more good is likely to come otherwise.
A single lie can destroy a whole reputation for integrity.
Oddly, patriotism is most virulent in countries which do least for their citizens in the provision of welfare – United States and China.
Epictetus remarked that anywhere is a prison if you do not wish to be there. That suggests you can punish people effectively, at least for lesser crimes, by making them perform community service, or obligating them to observe a curfew, or to work extra hours to repay their victims. Both recompense and penalty and thereby combined.
People sometimes enjoy solitude but never loneliness.
It has wisely been said that the search for happiness is one of the main sources of unhappiness in the world.
But it implies the idea that the goal of ethical life is multiple in character, involving respect and concern for others, and duty to improve oneself and to use one’s gifts for the sake not only of others but the quality of ones own experiences.
‘Happy’ means prosperous and flourishing – not in money terms, although that is not excluded, but in being fortunate in possessing such amenities of life as health, friendship and opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the world.
Look up plane tree – London
To advance beyond racism one has to advance beyond race. But that goal is not helped by what Sartre called ‘anti racist racism’ as with the black power movement and its cognates. It is understandable that communities which suffer prejudice and abuse should shelter behind a protective assumed identity, but identities grow rigid and become a source of new pieties, new excises to repay evil with evil and thereby indirectly entrench the very idea that lies at the root of the problem.
The reason is that most emotions involve beliefs “if you are ashamed, you believe that you have done something that deserves the contempt of others.
It is rare for revenge to be patient. We hurry to avenge whereas we dwindle to pay other kinds of debts – most notably those of gratitude.
In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
People desire to poses things of value, and yearn for superlatives in experience; enough intoxicant gives the illusion of both.But illusions carry one in a direction exactly opposite to the desired reality.
It is only the first bottle that is expensive – (drinking )
Vine bears three kinds of grapes, the first of pleasure, the second intoxication, the third of disgust.
Drink never made a man better, but it has made a man think he was.
Depression - seasonal affective disorder , acronym for which is SAD.
In modern developed societies approval is given to such values as personal autonomy, achievement in earing a living, providing fora family, saving against a rainy day, and meriting rewards for success in ones career.
Islam – the very word means submission to God.
Research – Romes Vestal Vergin & temple of vesta.
In western Christianity Ester is the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox of 21st March. This is why it’s a movable feast.
The poor man is not the one has little, but the one who hankers after more.
Few consciously choose poverty, saints and philosophers might, but it does not take one of the latter to teach us that elective poverty is not povety.
The rich man may never get into heaven, but the poor are already serving their term in hell.
Philosophers of the Frankfurt School, all condemn the waste, folly, false consciousness and victimhood of consumerist society, which they describe as a conspiracy to force us to labour so that we can purchase the crumbs of pleasure that the system lets fall from the tables of those who unnecessary products we buy.
All of the things worth having in life, such as kindness, wisdom and all human affections, none are on offer in the worlds shopping malls.
Relativism – the view that different truths, different views, different ways of thinking, are all equally valid, and that there is no authoritative standpoint from which they can be adjudicated.
Aristotle said that we educate ourselves so that we can make noble use of our leisure, this is a view directly opposed to the contemporary belief that we educate ourselves in order to get a job. To that extent the contemporary view distorts the purpose of schooling, by aiming not at the development of individuals as ends in themselves, but as instruments in the economic process.
Getting to know, on all the matters that most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits.
A slave has only one master, an ambitious man as many masters as there are people he thinks can be useful to him.
He who takes big paces leaves big spaces, which readily fill up with trouble.
A desire to be ranked with great figures of the past can be a good emulation, if it recognises what it takes. Worthy ambition, in short, is responsible ambition, because it is prepared to pay the costs of attainment. Mere ambition wants to leap high without effort, and looks for easy ladders.
The difference is well illustrated by the contrast – to employ a familiar example – between the person who says he ‘wishes to be a writer’ and the person who says he ‘wishes to write’
Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.
Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the hughest quality to your moments as they pass.
Art is never didactic, does not take kindly to facts, is helpless to grapple with theories, and is killed outright by a sermon, said Agnes Repplier, and she could have put ‘youth’ for ‘art’ at the sentence’s head.
Bertrand russel – The jey to happiness, he said, is to worry about things only when relevant. If you cannot do anything about your overdraft at three in the morning, stop thinking about it until you can.
Heath is that what you have when do not notice that you have it.
Leisure derives from middle French meaning – to be permitted.
There is a pleasing irony in the fact that holidays are an opportunity for sin, for holiday once meant ‘holy day’
Leisure is not the opposite of work, it is, as marl twain and Aristotle both suggest- something better: The opportunity to work for higher ends.
Personal peace – in which an individual is on good terms with those around him and free from anxieties within.
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
It is hard to define what makes good books good, because good books come in so many different kinds, but one thing is common to most of them is that they make the readers think and feel, elevating or disturbing them, and making them see the world a little differently as a result.
A library is like a hive storing honey, part of the best, sweetest and most nourishing exudate of human experience.
A leader is a daler in hope – Napoleon
Seneca observed that what makes people unhappy is not being given orders, but being made to do things against their own will. Because few relish resolving complicated questions or making important choices, it is not duty or obedience they dislike, but being obliged to take responsibility.
People know too little about their own country if they know no other. Travel is a rich source of information and altered perspective.
They suggest possabilities yet undreamed of, improvments previously unimagined, and reasons for satisfaction with home.
The traveller is an active being. He has understood Dr Johnsons remark that ‘in traveling’ a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring knowledge home. ‘ He goes to look and see, to be taught, to sympathise and understand. The tourist is not an active being, he is passive he expects to be carried abroad, coveyed from the airportto his hotel, provided with entertainments and refreshments and protected from forein annoyances.
The traveller seeks adventure, not leisure of the mind, the tourist expects nice things to happen to him. To give him his due, the tourist has gone abroard expecting differences, but as a spectator , not a student, of them, and for that one might as well watch television.
They change the climate , not their souls.
Privacy matters to the famous because they have lost it. We usually only place the right value on things when we have lost them
If the world does not appear magical, blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.
If one sees the importance of small things, one is better able to judge the importance of their opposite.