By Nigel Rodgers, Mel Thompson
An enticing and infrequently hilarious survey of the far-from-fusty extra-curricular actions of a few of philosophy’s most interesting practitioners
Philosophers Behaving Badly examines the lives of 8 nice philosophers—Rousseau, whose perspectives on schooling and the social order appear interestingly at odds together with his personal outrageous existence; Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, giants of the nineteenth century whose phrases look ever extra proper this day; and 5 immensely influential philosophers of the 20 th century, Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre, and Foucault.
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Extra info for Philosophers Behaving Badly
We stop searching for Ithaca: we know that, whatever we do, we will reach home at last. According to Socrates, Homer was not an educator; he did not know how to make men better and he possessed no real knowledge, only the art of imitation, which is why he was neglected by his contemporaries. ’ Plato must have conceived these words tongue firmly planted in his cheek, thinking of the fate of poor Socrates, the greatest educator of all, condemned to death by the society he strove to make better. Obviously Plato knew (all artists know) that society, whatever pittance it may accord to grants, prizes and memorials, always fails to honour and reward adequately those who, through craftsmanship and imagination, strive to make us better, and that its citizens, wherever and whenever, will always cling to their gold rather than to their goldsmith.
Homer had told, first, of the siege of Troy, distilling the agonies of a tenyear-long war into forty days of fighting; and second, the return of one of the warriors, clever Ulysses, through a sea of troubles to his home in Ithaca. Virgil, accordingly, structured his poem in two parts: the first (Aeneas’s flight and travels) based on the Odyssey; the second (his battles leading up to the foundation of Rome) on the Iliad. Legend has it that, before he died, Virgil asked his friends to burn the manuscript.
14 When the time came, Cretheis sent her son to school where, because of his wonderful abilities, he was adopted by the teacher who foretold a brilliant future for him and allowed him the run of the establishment. A visitor to Smyrna convinced Melesigenes to leave the city and take to the sea. From ship to ship, he crisscrossed Poseidon’s realm and visited the places his Ulysses would visit later, including, of course, Ithaca. On 43 board, and for the first time, he began to compose poems to the great delight of his companions.
Philosophers Behaving Badly by Nigel Rodgers, Mel Thompson