Monday, December 20, 2010

The philosopher, something either monstrous or god-like...

Nurtured in freedom and taking their time, there is something dreadfully uncanny about the philosopher, something either monstrous or god-like or indeed both at once. This is why many sensible people continue to think the Athenians had a point in condemning Socrates to death.-Critchley


  1. In 1947, Josef Pieper argued in his extended essay “Leisure: The Basis of Culture” that leisure, contrary to popular sentiment, is not equivalent with idleness or inactivity, but is rather a state of “recreation” and receptivity to God and to the surrounding world. Learning, or schooling, is a state of leisure because knowledge is gained not through toil but by openness to the truth. He writes,

    “The mode of discursive thought is accompanied and impregnated by an effortless awareness, the contemplative vision of the intellectus, which is not active but passive, or rather receptive, the activity of the soul in which it conceives that which it sees. The ancients regarded intellectus as being already beyond the sphere allotted to man. And yet it belonged to man, though in one sense superhuman; the pure ly human by itself could not satiate man’s powers of comprehension, for man, of his very nature, reaches out beyond the sphere of the human. “Although the knowledge which is most characteristic of the human soul occurs in the mode of ratio, nevertheless there is in it a sort of participation in the simple knowledge which is proper to higher beings, of whom it is therefore said that they possess the faculty of spiritual vision.”

    Work, or toil, according to Pieper, is a means to gaining leisure, or as he says in his rephrasing of Aristotle, “We are unleisurely in order to have leisure.”

  2. What happened to Rabindranath Tagore? Do you live in this planet?