Aristotle said…. (a minimalism post, of sorts!)

Oh, the rabbit holes we tumble into when we venture to our bookcases with paring-down in mind! I’m still challenging myself to decide which books to keep in my minimalism efforts, though I know I’ll likely keep them all.

Many of my books are old textbooks from college and grad school. I minored in philosophy, so I have a few texts from those studies.

One can’t simply pull books from a shelf with a cursory flip-through. One must sometimes sit down with the books to open them and skim the pages. To be reminded. To be re-enlightened, maybe, or at least re-enchanted. We hang onto these books for a reason.

Philosophy, then. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle offered insights through his teaching, as philosophers tend to do, and it kind of blows my mind to note how the applicability of some of his insights remains timeless. Classical, indeed. Going through my old philosophy texts led me to search for more reading material about Aristotle online. There, I found a slew of quotes. I don’t know how to quantify a “slew,” but I trust that it’s a lot.

Aristotle, who was born in 384 BC, said the following:

“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst.”

“He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.”

“Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”

“Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.”

“Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.”

“The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.”

“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”

“Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.”

“We make war that we may live in peace.”

Aristotle – born in 384 BC. Died in 322 BC. Immortal.

Well, this week I’ve found no books to donate. I knew I wouldn’t. I thought I’d consider it, anyway. I am still planning another round of donation-gathering, though! Some objects aren’t meant to be cherished forever… by me, anyway. I figure what I cherished yesterday, someone else can cherish tomorrow.

 

 

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