Chaucer’s Silence: On the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

In the "General Prologue" to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Chaucer tests the standards for classical poetics, as described by Plato, Aristotle, and Horace. Like Dante, Chaucer portrays himself as a silent pilgrim, quietly observing the people around him. While in the Divina Commedia, Dante is led by the great Latin poet, Virgil, reporting on his … Continue reading Chaucer’s Silence: On the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

Ethos, Pathos, Logos: On Aristotle’s Rhetoric

Is there a type of rhetoric whose goal is not the mere winning of arguments? Aristotle's Rhetorike brings to light the nature of persuasive opinions ("rhetorike" is an odd word that appears in Plato's Gorgias as Gorgias understands public speeches to be intoxicating, though false claims that are compelling to the masses, while Socrates believes … Continue reading Ethos, Pathos, Logos: On Aristotle’s Rhetoric

On The Idea of Prayer in The Second Alcibiades

The two Alcibiades dialogues that have come down to us as Platonic are not cited by any authority, such as Aristotle. Instead, they have been ascribed to likely several generations after Plato, and attributed to his Platonic corpus, perhaps either by pupils or librarians at either Athens or Alexandria. Due to the impossibility of determining … Continue reading On The Idea of Prayer in The Second Alcibiades

The Teaching of Aristotle’s Politics

It was once said, in an uncommon fashion, that Aristotle's Politics contains the "coherent and comprehensive understanding of political things;" or the pre-scientific (i.e. modern natural and social science) understanding of political things. Yet it is also the text upon which modern natural and social science is dependent (and also in reaction against). Therefore, any … Continue reading The Teaching of Aristotle’s Politics

Aristotle’s Politics Books VII-VIII: The Best City and the Education of its Citizens

Before embarking on the question of the best form of government, we must first decide on the best on "way of life" that is most worthy of choice. And the most choice-worthy (disputed by no one) is the blessed and happy life based on external, bodily, and soulful goods. Aristotle calls upon the god as … Continue reading Aristotle’s Politics Books VII-VIII: The Best City and the Education of its Citizens