Thursday, December 27, 2012

Conquering the Self

Islam, Christianity, Islam all believe that each person has one earthly lifetime in which to conquer the self and to know or love or serve God in the world.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Plato and Aristotle are not cosmopolitan

The political culture idealized in the writings of Plato and Aristotle is not cosmopolitan. In this culture, a man identifies himself first and foremost as a citizen of a particular polis or city, and in doing so, he signals which institutions and which body of people hold his allegiance. He would then be counted on for help in defending the city from attacks, sustaining its institutions of justice, and contributing to its common good. In this way, his own pursuit of a good life is inextricably bound to the fate of the city and to the similar pursuit carried out by other inhabitants of the city. By contrast, the good person would not be expected to share with or serve any foreigners who live outside the city. Any cosmopolitan expectations on a good Athenian extended only to concern for those foreigners who happen to reside in Athens.