Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Of Human Dullness

Have we learned anything in, say, the last 2500 years, which provides any guidance in how to live? I would say not. Plato, Aristotle, the stoics, the epicureans (to refer only to the West) have not been bested, I would maintain. They and others of the ancients have pretty well described and considered the reasonable options. We persist only in considering them again and again. Sometimes, someone like Nietzsche shows up and yowls about rather far-fetched and romantic alternatives which are either unattainable, or twisted by others to become fantastic perversions of wisdom. Perhaps we're limited in our options by our nature, though, in which case this would not be so much a cause a cause for shame as for resignation.

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