Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction

Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction


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Before embarking on our journey to character and (self) leadership, we should briefly discuss the life and work of Aristotle, the man and the philosopher - he who needs no introduction.

Aristotle’s Life

Aristotle was born at Stagira, in northern Greece. His father Nicomachus was a doctor at the court of King Amyntas III of Macedon, father of Philip II, and grandfather of Alexander the Great. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle went to Athens, the intellectual and cultural center of the time, to complete his education.

Statue of a young Aristotle . (Rama/ CC BY 2.0 fr )

He joined Plato’s Academy where he stayed for twenty years, studying, writing, debating and eventually teaching, especially rhetoric. Aristotle left Athens when Plato died probably because he diverted from his teacher’s thought and so wasn’t chosen as his successor at the Academy. On another account, he left because Macedonia had subjugated Athens and so anti-Macedonian feelings could lead to his persecution due to his association with the court, an association that would influence his life considerably.

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Plato’s Academy: The School of Athens by Raphael (1509–1510), fresco at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

After spending almost five years in philosophical activity and empirical research first in Assos in the northern Aegean and then on the nearby island of Lesbos, Aristotle went to Macedonia as the personal tutor of young Alexander. He returned to Athens in 335 and founded his own school, the Lyceum, in an area dedicated to the god Apollo Lykeios, in the center of the city. The Lyceum was a public place where he taught, researched, and wrote. (The Lyceum was excavated and opened in Athens for the public in 2014 and can be visited daily).

His school became known as “ Peripatetic” because of the covered courtyard or colonnade ( peripatos) in the area of the school. The name may also have been given because Aristotle used to walk with his students when he lectured, advanced students in the morning, and the general lovers of knowledge in the evening. For him, teaching was the most important manifestation of knowledge, and as he said, claiming to know means being able to teach.

School of Aristotle in Mieza, Macedonia, Greece . (Jean Housen/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

Aristotle stayed in Athens until 323 when Alexander the Great died. He was accused of impiety, just like Socrates had been around 75 years before him. Unlike Socrates, however, he chose to leave Athens so that the city didn’t sin against philosophy for a second time, as he said. He died a year later in Chalcis, on the island of Euboea.

Aristotle’s Work

One of the most famous figures in the history of western thought, Aristotle was mainly concerned to discover the truth and increase knowledge because he believed that, by nature, human beings desire to know. For him, a fully human life is a life of intellectual activity. His emphasis on good reasoning and the scientific method characterizes most of his work.

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC; the alabaster mantle is a modern addition.

Aristotle was a prolific writer. He wrote extensively on numerous topics, but only around one-fifth of his works survives - containing samples from the different areas he studied. Although he is said to have been praised for his style of writing, his surviving works are mostly in the form of notes, probably for his own use rather than intended for publication. So, at times they are obscure, repetitive, and a challenge to follow, and we should probably read them as the lecture notes they were rather than as systematic treatises.

We could think of Aristotle as a polymath. He wrote on mathematics, logic, animal biology, the soul, rhetoric, tragic drama, poetry, political theory, philosophy of science, metaphysics. He also wrote on ethics, with the Nicomachean Ethics being his seminal text.

Aristotle was especially influenced by his research in animal biology. The other most significant influence on him was Plato (427?–347 BC). The teacher had a significant impact on the student: on the topics he studied, the search for knowledge, the value of explanation, or the method of building an argument. For example, as Socrates started a dialogue with the opinion of his student on a given topic, in the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle starts his inquiry with the endoxa, or the most popular opinions on a subject, believing that most people, the laymen, the educated or the wise, can’t be wholly mistaken - and he wished to build on existing knowledge. He used this method because he also wanted to examine the world people knew, the culture they lived in, and the individual behaviors they could observe. Then, he criticized, adapted, or rejected the opinions he didn’t agree with before presenting his own.

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Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. () Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand, whilst Plato gestures to the heavens, representing his belief in The Forms, while holding a copy of Timaeus.

Aristotle rejected Plato’s theory of Forms. He argued that this theory was too abstract and of little use to human beings. This theory saw properties, such as Beauty, as abstract, eternal, and universal entities that existed separately of the beautiful objects themselves. For example, Beauty can only be understood through the mind, not through sensory experience or opinion. Or the essence of “manhood” can be conceived if we think of the universal idea of Man, that never changed, not of a specific individual who changed and died. But Aristotle was a philosopher-scientist, who believed in sense, perception, and facts.

He argued that true wisdom comes from examining the objects of experience, not from looking beyond them in the world of ideas in another space and time. He didn’t commit to one single and universal idea that can make all good things good. Aristotle focused on the particulars in a situation and although he accepted that universal principles could exist, people could only learn them from experience.


Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction - History

The founder and leader of the Paranormal Research-Response Team, Travis McHenry, is a Cryptozoologist, UFOlogist, and Parapsychologist all rolled into one package that won't fit in most overhead compartments. He has been pursuing unexplained mysteries since 1994, after the book Creatures From UFOs by Daniel Cohen ignited in him a passion for the unknown that has burned for decades.

Travis studied both Theatre Arts and Anthropology at universities in his native Pennsylvania and also in southern California. However, his most prestigious degree, a Doctor of Metaphysics certificate, was "earned" off the Internet from the unprestigious (and unrecognized) Universal Life Church--the same institution which granted author Hunter S. Thompson his Doctor of Journalism.

For eight years, Travis worked for the U.S. Naval Intelligence community as an analyst and instructor. During this time, he deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military experiences have taken him all over the world and given him an insider's view of government conspiracy theories, and he can now say with confidence: the truth is out there!

In the past, his work in the paranormal has been covered by publications such as The Washington Post, The Virginian-Pilot, and Chronogram Magazine. In 2005, he appeared on the television show Creepy Canada, and later served as a consultant for the show Destination: Truth on the Syfy Channel. In 2006, he published his first book, Into the Abyss: The Memoirs of a Paranormal Adventurer, which has garnered praise from the few people who bothered to read it.

A consummate entertainer with a flair for the theatrical, Travis proudly wears the label "pseudo-scientist" and has completely abandoned any pretenses of following the scientific method. During his adventures, Travis has learned that megalomania and melodrama go hand in hand, but he's the only member of the paranormal community you'll ever find admitting that he has a touch of both.

Investigating a possible Bigfoot track near Bluff Creek, California


Meeting UFOlogist Stanton Friedman in 2003


1. Baruch Spinoza

Would the Age of Reason ever come about was it not for Baruch Spinoza and his colleagues? The Dutch philosopher was instrumental in the foundation of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, contributing to the historical developments in economics, politics and science. Spinoza was integral in the reformation of the Church, challenging the theologians and their status quo.

Despite accusations of heresy, Spinoza acknowledged his belief in God, but his view was that this apotheosis was ‘the sum of the natural and physical laws of the universe and certainly not an individual entity or creator.’


Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction - History

Translated by W. Rhys Roberts

In making a speech one must study three points: first, the means of producing persuasion second, the style, or language, to be used third, the proper arrangement of the various parts of the speech. We have already specified the sources of persuasion. We have shown that these are three in number what they are and why there are only these three: for we have shown that persuasion must in every case be effected either (1) by working on the emotions of the judges themselves, (2) by giving them the right impression of the speakers' character, or (3) by proving the truth of the statements made.

Enthymemes also have been described, and the sources from which they should be derived there being both special and general lines of argument for enthymemes.

Our next subject will be the style of expression. For it is not enough to know what we ought to say we must also say it as we ought much help is thus afforded towards producing the right impression of a speech. The first question to receive attention was naturally the one that comes first naturally-how persuasion can be produced from the facts themselves. The second is how to set these facts out in language. A third would be the proper method of delivery this is a thing that affects the success of a speech greatly but hitherto the subject has been neglected. Indeed, it was long before it found a way into the arts of tragic drama and epic recitation: at first poets acted their tragedies themselves. It is plain that delivery has just as much to do with oratory as with poetry. (In connexion with poetry, it has been studied by Glaucon of Teos among others.) It is, essentially, a matter of the right management of the voice to express the various emotions-of speaking loudly, softly, or between the two of high, low, or intermediate pitch of the various rhythms that suit various subjects. These are the three things-volume of sound, modulation of pitch, and rhythm-that a speaker bears in mind. It is those who do bear them in mind who usually win prizes in the dramatic contests and just as in drama the actors now count for more than the poets, so it is in the contests of public life, owing to the defects of our political institutions. No systematic treatise upon the rules of delivery has yet been composed indeed, even the study of language made no progress till late in the day. Besides, delivery is-very properly-not regarded as an elevated subject of inquiry. Still, the whole business of rhetoric being concerned with appearances, we must pay attention to the subject of delivery, unworthy though it is, because we cannot do without it. The right thing in speaking really is that we should be satisfied not to annoy our hearers, without trying to delight them: we ought in fairness to fight our case with no help beyond the bare facts: nothing, therefore, should matter except the proof of those facts. Still, as has been already said, other things affect the result considerably, owing to the defects of our hearers. The arts of language cannot help having a small but real importance, whatever it is we have to expound to others: the way in which a thing is said does affect its intelligibility. Not, however, so much importance as people think. All such arts are fanciful and meant to charm the hearer. Nobody uses fine language when teaching geometry.

When the principles of delivery have been worked out, they will produce the same effect as on the stage. But only very slight attempts to deal with them have been made and by a few people, as by Thrasymachus in his 'Appeals to Pity'. Dramatic ability is a natural gift, and can hardly be systematically taught. The principles of good diction can be so taught, and therefore we have men of ability in this direction too, who win prizes in their turn, as well as those speakers who excel in delivery-speeches of the written or literary kind owe more of their effect to their direction than to their thought.

It was naturally the poets who first set the movement going for words represent things, and they had also the human voice at their disposal, which of all our organs can best represent other things. Thus the arts of recitation and acting were formed, and others as well. Now it was because poets seemed to win fame through their fine language when their thoughts were simple enough, that the language of oratorical prose at first took a poetical colour, e.g. that of Gorgias. Even now most uneducated people think that poetical language makes the finest discourses. That is not true: the language of prose is distinct from that of poetry. This is shown by the state of things to-day, when even the language of tragedy has altered its character. Just as iambics were adopted, instead of tetrameters, because they are the most prose-like of all metres, so tragedy has given up all those words, not used in ordinary talk, which decorated the early drama and are still used by the writers of hexameter poems. It is therefore ridiculous to imitate a poetical manner which the poets themselves have dropped and it is now plain that we have not to treat in detail the whole question of style, but may confine ourselves to that part of it which concerns our present subject, rhetoric. The other--the poetical--part of it has been discussed in the treatise on the Art of Poetry.

We may, then, start from the observations there made, including the definition of style. Style to be good must be clear, as is proved by the fact that speech which fails to convey a plain meaning will fail to do just what speech has to do. It must also be appropriate, avoiding both meanness and undue elevation poetical language is certainly free from meanness, but it is not appropriate to prose. Clearness is secured by using the words (nouns and verbs alike) that are current and ordinary. Freedom from meanness, and positive adornment too, are secured by using the other words mentioned in the Art of Poetry. Such variation from what is usual makes the language appear more stately. People do not feel towards strangers as they do towards their own countrymen, and the same thing is true of their feeling for language. It is therefore well to give to everyday speech an unfamiliar air: people like what strikes them, and are struck by what is out of the way. In verse such effects are common, and there they are fitting: the persons and things there spoken of are comparatively remote from ordinary life. In prose passages they are far less often fitting because the subject-matter is less exalted. Even in poetry, it is not quite appropriate that fine language should be used by a slave or a very young man, or about very trivial subjects: even in poetry the style, to be appropriate, must sometimes be toned down, though at other times heightened. We can now see that a writer must disguise his art and give the impression of speaking naturally and not artificially. Naturalness is persuasive, artificiality is the contrary for our hearers are prejudiced and think we have some design against them, as if we were mixing their wines for them. It is like the difference between the quality of Theodorus' voice and the voices of all other actors: his really seems to be that of the character who is speaking, theirs do not. We can hide our purpose successfully by taking the single words of our composition from the speech of ordinary life. This is done in poetry by Euripides, who was the first to show the way to his successors.

Language is composed of nouns and verbs. Nouns are of the various kinds considered in the treatise on Poetry. Strange words, compound words, and invented words must be used sparingly and on few occasions: on what occasions we shall state later. The reason for this restriction has been already indicated: they depart from what is suitable, in the direction of excess. In the language of prose, besides the regular and proper terms for things, metaphorical terms only can be used with advantage. This we gather from the fact that these two classes of terms, the proper or regular and the metaphorical-these and no others-are used by everybody in conversation. We can now see that a good writer can produce a style that is distinguished without being obtrusive, and is at the same time clear, thus satisfying our definition of good oratorical prose. Words of ambiguous meaning are chiefly useful to enable the sophist to mislead his hearers. Synonyms are useful to the poet, by which I mean words whose ordinary meaning is the same, e.g. 'porheueseai' (advancing) and 'badizein' (proceeding) these two are ordinary words and have the same meaning.

In the Art of Poetry, as we have already said, will be found definitions of these kinds of words a classification of Metaphors and mention of the fact that metaphor is of great value both in poetry and in prose. Prose-writers must, however, pay specially careful attention to metaphor, because their other resources are scantier than those of poets. Metaphor, moreover, gives style clearness, charm, and distinction as nothing else can: and it is not a thing whose use can be taught by one man to another. Metaphors, like epithets, must be fitting, which means that they must fairly correspond to the thing signified: failing this, their inappropriateness will be conspicuous: the want of harmony between two things is emphasized by their being placed side by side. It is like having to ask ourselves what dress will suit an old man certainly not the crimson cloak that suits a young man. And if you wish to pay a compliment, you must take your metaphor from something better in the same line if to disparage, from something worse. To illustrate my meaning: since opposites are in the same class, you do what I have suggested if you say that a man who begs 'prays', and a man who prays 'begs' for praying and begging are both varieties of asking. So Iphicrates called Callias a 'mendicant priest' instead of a 'torch-bearer', and Callias replied that Iphicrates must be uninitiated or he would have called him not a 'mendicant priest' but a 'torch-bearer'. Both are religious titles, but one is honourable and the other is not. Again, somebody calls actors 'hangers-on of Dionysus', but they call themselves 'artists': each of these terms is a metaphor, the one intended to throw dirt at the actor, the other to dignify him. And pirates now call themselves 'purveyors'. We can thus call a crime a mistake, or a mistake a crime. We can say that a thief 'took' a thing, or that he 'plundered' his victim. An expression like that of Euripides' Telephus,

"King of the oar, on Mysia's coast he landed, "

is inappropriate the word 'king' goes beyond the dignity of the subject, and so the art is not concealed. A metaphor may be amiss because the very syllables of the words conveying it fail to indicate sweetness of vocal utterance. Thus Dionysius the Brazen in his elegies calls poetry 'Calliope's screech'. Poetry and screeching are both, to be sure, vocal utterances. But the metaphor is bad, because the sounds of 'screeching', unlike those of poetry, are discordant and unmeaning. Further, in using metaphors to give names to nameless things, we must draw them not from remote but from kindred and similar things, so that the kinship is clearly perceived as soon as the words are said. Thus in the celebrated riddle

"I marked how a man glued bronze with fire to another man's body, "

the process is nameless but both it and gluing are a kind of application, and that is why the application of the cupping-glass is here called a 'gluing'. Good riddles do, in general, provide us with satisfactory metaphors: for metaphors imply riddles, and therefore a good riddle can furnish a good metaphor. Further, the materials of metaphors must be beautiful and the beauty, like the ugliness, of all words may, as Licymnius says, lie in their sound or in their meaning. Further, there is a third consideration-one that upsets the fallacious argument of the sophist Bryson, that there is no such thing as foul language, because in whatever words you put a given thing your meaning is the same. This is untrue. One term may describe a thing more truly than another, may be more like it, and set it more intimately before our eyes. Besides, two different words will represent a thing in two different lights so on this ground also one term must be held fairer or fouler than another. For both of two terms will indicate what is fair, or what is foul, but not simply their fairness or their foulness, or if so, at any rate not in an equal degree. The materials of metaphor must be beautiful to the ear, to the understanding, to the eye or some other physical sense. It is better, for instance, to say 'rosy-fingered morn', than 'crimson-fingered' or, worse still, 'red-fingered morn'. The epithets that we apply, too, may have a bad and ugly aspect, as when Orestes is called a 'mother-slayer' or a better one, as when he is called his 'father's avenger'. Simonides, when the victor in the mule-race offered him a small fee, refused to write him an ode, because, he said, it was so unpleasant to write odes to half-asses: but on receiving an adequate fee, he wrote

"Hail to you, daughters of storm-footed steeds? "

though of course they were daughters of asses too. The same effect is attained by the use of diminutives, which make a bad thing less bad and a good thing less good. Take, for instance, the banter of Aristophanes in the Babylonians where he uses 'goldlet' for 'gold', 'cloaklet' for 'cloak', 'scoffiet' for 'scoff, and 'plaguelet'. But alike in using epithets and in using diminutives we must be wary and must observe the mean.

Bad taste in language may take any of four forms:
(1) The misuse of compound words. Lycophron, for instance, talks of the 'many visaged heaven' above the 'giant-crested earth', and again the 'strait-pathed shore' and Gorgias of the 'pauper-poet flatterer' and 'oath-breaking and over-oath-keeping'. Alcidamas uses such expressions as 'the soul filling with rage and face becoming flame-flushed', and 'he thought their enthusiasm would be issue-fraught' and 'issue-fraught he made the persuasion of his words', and 'sombre-hued is the floor of the sea'.The way all these words are compounded makes them, we feel, fit for verse only. This, then, is one form in which bad taste is shown.

(2) Another is the employment of strange words. For instance, Lycophron talks of 'the prodigious Xerxes' and 'spoliative Sciron' Alcidamas of 'a toy for poetry' and 'the witlessness of nature', and says 'whetted with the unmitigated temper of his spirit'.

(3) A third form is the use of long, unseasonable, or frequent epithets. It is appropriate enough for a poet to talk of 'white milk', in prose such epithets are sometimes lacking in appropriateness or, when spread too thickly, plainly reveal the author turning his prose into poetry. Of course we must use some epithets, since they lift our style above the usual level and give it an air of distinction. But we must aim at the due mean, or the result will be worse than if we took no trouble at all we shall get something actually bad instead of something merely not good. That is why the epithets of Alcidamas seem so tasteless he does not use them as the seasoning of the meat, but as the meat itself, so numerous and swollen and aggressive are they. For instance, he does not say 'sweat', but 'the moist sweat' not 'to the Isthmian games', but 'to the world-concourse of the Isthmian games' not 'laws', but 'the laws that are monarchs of states' not 'at a run', but 'his heart impelling him to speed of foot' not 'a school of the Muses', but 'Nature's school of the Muses had he inherited' and so 'frowning care of heart', and 'achiever' not of 'popularity' but of 'universal popularity', and 'dispenser of pleasure to his audience', and 'he concealed it' not 'with boughs' but 'with boughs of the forest trees', and 'he clothed' not 'his body' but 'his body's nakedness', and 'his soul's desire was counter imitative' (this's at one and the same time a compound and an epithet, so that it seems a poet's effort), and 'so extravagant the excess of his wickedness'. We thus see how the inappropriateness of such poetical language imports absurdity and tastelessness into speeches, as well as the obscurity that comes from all this verbosity-for when the sense is plain, you only obscure and spoil its clearness by piling up words.

The ordinary use of compound words is where there is no term for a thing and some compound can be easily formed, like 'pastime' (chronotribein) but if this is much done, the prose character disappears entirely. We now see why the language of compounds is just the thing for writers of dithyrambs, who love sonorous noises strange words for writers of epic poetry, which is a proud and stately affair and metaphor for iambic verse, the metre which (as has been already' said) is widely used to-day.

(4) There remains the fourth region in which bad taste may be shown, metaphor. Metaphors like other things may be inappropriate. Some are so because they are ridiculous they are indeed used by comic as well as tragic poets. Others are too grand and theatrical and these, if they are far-fetched, may also be obscure. For instance, Gorgias talks of 'events that are green and full of sap', and says 'foul was the deed you sowed and evil the harvest you reaped'. That is too much like poetry. Alcidamas, again, called philosophy 'a fortress that threatens the power of law', and the Odyssey 'a goodly looking-glass of human life',' talked about 'offering no such toy to poetry': all these expressions fail, for the reasons given, to carry the hearer with them. The address of Gorgias to the swallow, when she had let her droppings fall on him as she flew overhead, is in the best tragic manner. He said, 'Nay, shame, O Philomela'. Considering her as a bird, you could not call her act shameful considering her as a girl, you could and so it was a good gibe to address her as what she was once and not as what she is.

The Simile also is a metaphor the difference is but slight. When the poet says of Achilles that he

"Leapt on the foe as a lion, "

this is a simile when he says of him 'the lion leapt', it is a metaphor-here, since both are courageous, he has transferred to Achilles the name of 'lion'. Similes are useful in prose as well as in verse but not often, since they are of the nature of poetry. They are to be employed just as metaphors are employed, since they are really the same thing except for the difference mentioned.

The following are examples of similes. Androtion said of Idrieus that he was like a terrier let off the chain, that flies at you and bites you-Idrieus too was savage now that he was let out of his chains. Theodamas compared Archidamus to an Euxenus who could not do geometry-a proportional simile, implying that Euxenus is an Archidamus who can do geometry. In Plato's Republic those who strip the dead are compared to curs which bite the stones thrown at them but do not touch the thrower, and there is the simile about the Athenian people, who are compared to a ship's captain who is strong but a little deaf and the one about poets' verses, which are likened to persons who lack beauty but possess youthful freshness-when the freshness has faded the charm perishes, and so with verses when broken up into prose. Pericles compared the Samians to children who take their pap but go on crying and the Boeotians to holm-oaks, because they were ruining one another by civil wars just as one oak causes another oak's fall. Demosthenes said that the Athenian people were like sea-sick men on board ship. Again, Demosthenes compared the political orators to nurses who swallow the bit of food themselves and then smear the children's lips with the spittle. Antisthenes compared the lean Cephisodotus to frankincense, because it was his consumption that gave one pleasure. All these ideas may be expressed either as similes or as metaphors those which succeed as metaphors will obviously do well also as similes, and similes, with the explanation omitted, will appear as metaphors. But the proportional metaphor must always apply reciprocally to either of its co-ordinate terms. For instance, if a drinking-bowl is the shield of Dionysus, a shield may fittingly be called the drinking-bowl of Ares.

Such, then, are the ingredients of which speech is composed. The foundation of good style is correctness of language, which falls under five heads. (1) First, the proper use of connecting words, and the arrangement of them in the natural sequence which some of them require. For instance, the connective 'men' (e.g. ego men) requires the correlative de (e.g. o de). The answering word must be brought in before the first has been forgotten, and not be widely separated from it nor, except in the few cases where this is appropriate, is another connective to be introduced before the one required. Consider the sentence, 'But as soon as he told me (for Cleon had come begging and praying), took them along and set out.' In this sentence many connecting words are inserted in front of the one required to complete the sense and if there is a long interval before 'set out', the result is obscurity. One merit, then, of good style lies in the right use of connecting words. (2) The second lies in calling things by their own special names and not by vague general ones. (3) The third is to avoid ambiguities unless, indeed, you definitely desire to be ambiguous, as those do who have nothing to say but are pretending to mean something. Such people are apt to put that sort of thing into verse. Empedocles, for instance, by his long circumlocutions imposes on his hearers these are affected in the same way as most people are when they listen to diviners, whose ambiguous utterances are received with nods of acquiescence-

"Croesus by crossing the Halys will ruin a mighty realm. "

Diviners use these vague generalities about the matter in hand because their predictions are thus, as a rule, less likely to be falsified. We are more likely to be right, in the game of 'odd and even', if we simply guess 'even' or 'odd' than if we guess at the actual number and the oracle-monger is more likely to be right if he simply says that a thing will happen than if he says when it will happen, and therefore he refuses to add a definite date. All these ambiguities have the same sort of effect, and are to be avoided unless we have some such object as that mentioned. (4) A fourth rule is to observe Protagoras' classification of nouns into male, female, and inanimate for these distinctions also must be correctly given. 'Upon her arrival she said her say and departed (e d elthousa kai dialechtheisa ocheto).' (5) A fifth rule is to express plurality, fewness, and unity by the correct wording, e.g. 'Having come, they struck me (oi d elthontes etupton me).'

It is a general rule that a written composition should be easy to read and therefore easy to deliver. This cannot be so where there are many connecting words or clauses, or where punctuation is hard, as in the writings of Heracleitus. To punctuate Heracleitus is no easy task, because we often cannot tell whether a particular word belongs to what precedes or what follows it. Thus, at the outset of his treatise he says, 'Though this truth is always men understand it not', where it is not clear with which of the two clauses the word 'always' should be joined by the punctuation. Further, the following fact leads to solecism, viz. that the sentence does not work out properly if you annex to two terms a third which does not suit them both. Thus either 'sound' or 'colour' will fail to work out properly with some verbs: 'perceive' will apply to both, 'see' will not. Obscurity is also caused if, when you intend to insert a number of details, you do not first make your meaning clear for instance, if you say, 'I meant, after telling him this, that and the other thing, to set out', rather than something of this kind 'I meant to set out after telling him then this, that, and the other thing occurred.'

The following suggestions will help to give your language impressiveness. (1) Describe a thing instead of naming it: do not say 'circle', but 'that surface which extends equally from the middle every way'. To achieve conciseness, do the opposite-put the name instead of the description. When mentioning anything ugly or unseemly, use its name if it is the description that is ugly, and describe it if it is the name that is ugly. (2) Represent things with the help of metaphors and epithets, being careful to avoid poetical effects. (3) Use plural for singular, as in poetry, where one finds

though only one haven is meant, and

"Here are my letter's many-leaved folds. "

(4) Do not bracket two words under one article, but put one article with each e.g. 'that wife of ours.' The reverse to secure conciseness e.g. 'our wife.' Use plenty of connecting words conversely, to secure conciseness, dispense with connectives, while still preserving connexion e.g. 'having gone and spoken', and 'having gone, I spoke', respectively. (6) And the practice of Antimachus, too, is useful-to describe a thing by mentioning attributes it does not possess as he does in talking of Teumessus

"There is a little wind-swept knoll. "

A subject can be developed indefinitely along these lines. You may apply this method of treatment by negation either to good or to bad qualities, according to which your subject requires. It is from this source that the poets draw expressions such as the 'stringless' or 'lyreless' melody, thus forming epithets out of negations. This device is popular in proportional metaphors, as when the trumpet's note is called 'a lyreless melody'.

Your language will be appropriate if it expresses emotion and character, and if it corresponds to its subject. 'Correspondence to subject' means that we must neither speak casually about weighty matters, nor solemnly about trivial ones nor must we add ornamental epithets to commonplace nouns, or the effect will be comic, as in the works of Cleophon, who can use phrases as absurd as 'O queenly fig-tree'. To express emotion, you will employ the language of anger in speaking of outrage the language of disgust and discreet reluctance to utter a word when speaking of impiety or foulness the language of exultation for a tale of glory, and that of humiliation for a tale of and so in all other cases.

This aptness of language is one thing that makes people believe in the truth of your story: their minds draw the false conclusion that you are to be trusted from the fact that others behave as you do when things are as you describe them and therefore they take your story to be true, whether it is so or not. Besides, an emotional speaker always makes his audience feel with him, even when there is nothing in his arguments which is why many speakers try to overwhelm their audience by mere noise.

Furthermore, this way of proving your story by displaying these signs of its genuineness expresses your personal character. Each class of men, each type of disposition, will have its own appropriate way of letting the truth appear. Under 'class' I include differences of age, as boy, man, or old man of sex, as man or woman of nationality, as Spartan or Thessalian. By 'dispositions' I here mean those dispositions only which determine the character of a man's for it is not every disposition that does this. If, then, a speaker uses the very words which are in keeping with a particular disposition, he will reproduce the corresponding character for a rustic and an educated man will not say the same things nor speak in the same way. Again, some impression is made upon an audience by a device which speech-writers employ to nauseous excess, when they say 'Who does not know this?' or 'It is known to everybody.' The hearer is ashamed of his ignorance, and agrees with the speaker, so as to have a share of the knowledge that everybody else possesses.

All the variations of oratorical style are capable of being used in season or out of season. The best way to counteract any exaggeration is the well-worn device by which the speaker puts in some criticism of himself for then people feel it must be all right for him to talk thus, since he certainly knows what he is doing. Further, it is better not to have everything always just corresponding to everything else-your hearers will see through you less easily thus. I mean for instance, if your words are harsh, you should not extend this harshness to your voice and your countenance and have everything else in keeping. If you do, the artificial character of each detail becomes apparent whereas if you adopt one device and not another, you are using art all the same and yet nobody notices it. (To be sure, if mild sentiments are expressed in harsh tones and harsh sentiments in mild tones, you become comparatively unconvincing.) Compound words, fairly plentiful epithets, and strange words best suit an emotional speech. We forgive an angry man for talking about a wrong as 'heaven-high' or 'colossal' and we excuse such language when the speaker has his hearers already in his hands and has stirred them deeply either by praise or blame or anger or affection, as Isocrates, for instance, does at the end of his Panegyric, with his 'name and fame' and 'in that they brooked'. Men do speak in this strain when they are deeply stirred, and so, once the audience is in a like state of feeling, approval of course follows. This is why such language is fitting in poetry, which is an inspired thing. This language, then, should be used either under stress of emotion, or ironically, after the manner of Gorgias and of the passages in the Phaedrus.

The form of a prose composition should be neither metrical nor destitute of rhythm. The metrical form destroys the hearer's trust by its artificial appearance, and at the same time it diverts his attention, making him watch for metrical recurrences, just as children catch up the herald's question, 'Whom does the freedman choose as his advocate?', with the answer 'Cleon!' On the other hand, unrhythmical language is too unlimited we do not want the limitations of metre, but some limitation we must have, or the effect will be vague and unsatisfactory. Now it is number that limits all things and it is the numerical limitation of the forms of a composition that constitutes rhythm, of which metres are definite sections. Prose, then, is to be rhythmical, but not metrical, or it will become not prose but verse. It should not even have too precise a prose rhythm, and therefore should only be rhythmical to a certain extent.

Of the various rhythms, the heroic has dignity, but lacks the tones of the spoken language. The iambic is the very language of ordinary people, so that in common talk iambic lines occur oftener than any others: but in a speech we need dignity and the power of taking the hearer out of his ordinary self. The trochee is too much akin to wild dancing: we can see this in tetrameter verse, which is one of the trochaic rhythms.

There remains the paean, which speakers began to use in the time of Thrasymachus, though they had then no name to give it. The paean is a third class of rhythm, closely akin to both the two already mentioned it has in it the ratio of three to two, whereas the other two kinds have the ratio of one to one, and two to one respectively. Between the two last ratios comes the ratio of one-and-a-half to one, which is that of the paean.

Now the other two kinds of rhythm must be rejected in writing prose, partly for the reasons given, and partly because they are too metrical and the paean must be adopted, since from this alone of the rhythms mentioned no definite metre arises, and therefore it is the least obtrusive of them. At present the same form of paean is employed at the beginning a at the end of sentences, whereas the end should differ from the beginning. There are two opposite kinds of paean, one of which is suitable to the beginning of a sentence, where it is indeed actually used this is the kind that begins with a long syllable and ends with three short ones, as

"Chruseokom | a Ekate | pai Dios. "

The other paean begins, conversely, with three short syllables and ends with a long one, as

"meta de lan | udata t ok | eanon e | oanise nux. "

This kind of paean makes a real close: a short syllable can give no effect of finality, and therefore makes the rhythm appear truncated. A sentence should break off with the long syllable: the fact that it is over should be indicated not by the scribe, or by his period-mark in the margin, but by the rhythm itself.

We have now seen that our language must be rhythmical and not destitute of rhythm, and what rhythms, in what particular shape, make it so.

The language of prose must be either free-running, with its parts united by nothing except the connecting words, like the preludes in dithyrambs or compact and antithetical, like the strophes of the old poets. The free-running style is the ancient one, e.g. 'Herein is set forth the inquiry of Herodotus the Thurian.' Every one used this method formerly not many do so now. By 'free-running' style I mean the kind that has no natural stopping-places, and comes to a stop only because there is no more to say of that subject. This style is unsatisfying just because it goes on indefinitely-one always likes to sight a stopping-place in front of one: it is only at the goal that men in a race faint and collapse while they see the end of the course before them, they can keep on going. Such, then, is the free-running kind of style the compact is that which is in periods. By a period I mean a portion of speech that has in itself a beginning and an end, being at the same time not too big to be taken in at a glance. Language of this kind is satisfying and easy to follow. It is satisfying, because it is just the reverse of indefinite and moreover, the hearer always feels that he is grasping something and has reached some definite conclusion whereas it is unsatisfactory to see nothing in front of you and get nowhere. It is easy to follow, because it can easily be remembered and this because language when in periodic form can be numbered, and number is the easiest of all things to remember. That is why verse, which is measured, is always more easily remembered than prose, which is not: the measures of verse can be numbered. The period must, further, not be completed until the sense is complete: it must not be capable of breaking off abruptly, as may happen with the following iambic lines of Sophocles-

"Calydon's soil is this of Pelops' land

"(The smiling plains face us across the strait.) "

By a wrong division of the words the hearer may take the meaning to be the reverse of what it is: for instance, in the passage quoted, one might imagine that Calydon is in the Peloponnesus.

A Period may be either divided into several members or simple. The period of several members is a portion of speech (1) complete in itself, (2) divided into parts, and (3) easily delivered at a single breath-as a whole, that is not by fresh breath being taken at the division. A member is one of the two parts of such a period. By a 'simple' period, I mean that which has only one member. The members, and the whole periods, should be neither curt nor long. A member which is too short often makes the listener stumble he is still expecting the rhythm to go on to the limit his mind has fixed for it and if meanwhile he is pulled back by the speaker's stopping, the shock is bound to make him, so to speak, stumble. If, on the other hand, you go on too long, you make him feel left behind, just as people who when walking pass beyond the boundary before turning back leave their companions behind So too if a period is too long you turn it into a speech, or something like a dithyrambic prelude. The result is much like the preludes that Democritus of Chios jeered at Melanippides for writing instead of antistrophic stanzas-

"He that sets traps for another man's feet

"Is like to fall into them first

"And long-winded preludes do harm to us all,

"But the preluder catches it worst. "

Which applies likewise to long-membered orators. Periods whose members are altogether too short are not periods at all and the result is to bring the hearer down with a crash.

The periodic style which is divided into members is of two kinds. It is either simply divided, as in 'I have often wondered at the conveners of national gatherings and the founders of athletic contests' or it is antithetical, where, in each of the two members, one of one pair of opposites is put along with one of another pair, or the same word is used to bracket two opposites, as 'They aided both parties-not only those who stayed behind but those who accompanied them: for the latter they acquired new territory larger than that at home, and to the former they left territory at home that was large enough'. Here the contrasted words are 'staying behind' and 'accompanying', 'enough' and 'larger'. So in the example, 'Both to those who want to get property and to those who desire to enjoy it' where 'enjoyment' is contrasted with 'getting'. Again, 'it often happens in such enterprises that the wise men fail and the fools succeed' 'they were awarded the prize of valour immediately, and won the command of the sea not long afterwards' 'to sail through the mainland and march through the sea, by bridging the Hellespont and cutting through Athos' 'nature gave them their country and law took it away again' 'of them perished in misery, others were saved in disgrace' 'Athenian citizens keep foreigners in their houses as servants, while the city of Athens allows her allies by thousands to live as the foreigner's slaves' and 'to possess in life or to bequeath at death'. There is also what some one said about Peitholaus and Lycophron in a law-court, 'These men used to sell you when they were at home, and now they have come to you here and bought you'. All these passages have the structure described above. Such a form of speech is satisfying, because the significance of contrasted ideas is easily felt, especially when they are thus put side by side, and also because it has the effect of a logical argument it is by putting two opposing conclusions side by side that you prove one of them false.

Such, then, is the nature of antithesis. Parisosis is making the two members of a period equal in length. Paromoeosis is making the extreme words of both members like each other. This must happen either at the beginning or at the end of each member. If at the beginning, the resemblance must always be between whole words at the end, between final syllables or inflexions of the same word or the same word repeated. Thus, at the beginning

"agron gar elaben arlon par' autou "

"dorhetoi t epelonto pararretoi t epeessin "

"ouk wethesan auton paidion tetokenai,

"all autou aitlon lelonenai, "

"en pleiotals de opontisi kai en elachistais elpisin "

An example of inflexions of the same word is

"axios de staoenai chalkous ouk axios on chalkou "

Of the same word repeated,

"su d' auton kai zonta eleges kakos kai nun grafeis kakos. "

"ti d' an epaoes deinon, ei andrh' eides arhgon "

It is possible for the same sentence to have all these features together-antithesis, parison, and homoeoteleuton. (The possible beginnings of periods have been pretty fully enumerated in the Theodectea.) There are also spurious antitheses, like that of Epicharmus-

"There one time I as their guest did stay,

"And they were my hosts on another day. "

We may now consider the above points settled, and pass on to say something about the way to devise lively and taking sayings. Their actual invention can only come through natural talent or long practice but this treatise may indicate the way it is done. We may deal with them by enumerating the different kinds of them. We will begin by remarking that we all naturally find it agreeable to get hold of new ideas easily: words express ideas, and therefore those words are the most agreeable that enable us to get hold of new ideas. Now strange words simply puzzle us ordinary words convey only what we know already it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh. When the poet calls 'old age a withered stalk', he conveys a new idea, a new fact, to us by means of the general notion of bloom, which is common to both things. The similes of the poets do the same, and therefore, if they are good similes, give an effect of brilliance. The simile, as has been said before, is a metaphor, differing from it only in the way it is put and just because it is longer it is less attractive. Besides, it does not say outright that 'this' is 'that', and therefore the hearer is less interested in the idea. We see, then, that both speech and reasoning are lively in proportion as they make us seize a new idea promptly. For this reason people are not much taken either by obvious arguments (using the word 'obvious' to mean what is plain to everybody and needs no investigation), nor by those which puzzle us when we hear them stated, but only by those which convey their information to us as soon as we hear them, provided we had not the information already or which the mind only just fails to keep up with. These two kinds do convey to us a sort of information: but the obvious and the obscure kinds convey nothing, either at once or later on. It is these qualities, then, that, so far as the meaning of what is said is concerned, make an argument acceptable. So far as the style is concerned, it is the antithetical form that appeals to us, e.g. 'judging that the peace common to all the rest was a war upon their own private interests', where there is an antithesis between war and peace. It is also good to use metaphorical words but the metaphors must not be far-fetched, or they will be difficult to grasp, nor obvious, or they will have no effect. The words, too, ought to set the scene before our eyes for events ought to be seen in progress rather than in prospect. So we must aim at these three points: Antithesis, Metaphor, and Actuality.

Of the four kinds of Metaphor the most taking is the proportional kind. Thus Pericles, for instance, said that the vanishing from their country of the young men who had fallen in the war was 'as if the spring were taken out of the year'. Leptines, speaking of the Lacedaemonians, said that he would not have the Athenians let Greece 'lose one of her two eyes'. When Chares was pressing for leave to be examined upon his share in the Olynthiac war, Cephisodotus was indignant, saying that he wanted his examination to take place 'while he had his fingers upon the people's throat'. The same speaker once urged the Athenians to march to Euboea, 'with Miltiades' decree as their rations'. Iphicrates, indignant at the truce made by the Athenians with Epidaurus and the neighbouring sea-board, said that they had stripped themselves of their travelling money for the journey of war. Peitholaus called the state-galley 'the people's big stick', and Sestos 'the corn-bin of the Peiraeus'. Pericles bade his countrymen remove Aegina, 'that eyesore of the Peiraeus.' And Moerocles said he was no more a rascal than was a certain respectable citizen he named, 'whose rascality was worth over thirty per cent per annum to him, instead of a mere ten like his own'.There is also the iambic line of Anaxandrides about the way his daughters put off marrying-

"My daughters' marriage-bonds are overdue. "

Polyeuctus said of a paralytic man named Speusippus that he could not keep quiet, 'though fortune had fastened him in the pillory of disease'. Cephisodotus called warships 'painted millstones'. Diogenes the Dog called taverns 'the mess-rooms of Attica'. Aesion said that the Athenians had 'emptied' their town into Sicily: this is a graphic metaphor. 'Till all Hellas shouted aloud' may be regarded as a metaphor, and a graphic one again. Cephisodotus bade the Athenians take care not to hold too many 'parades'. Isocrates used the same word of those who 'parade at the national festivals.' Another example occurs in the Funeral Speech: 'It is fitting that Greece should cut off her hair beside the tomb of those who fell at Salamis, since her freedom and their valour are buried in the same grave.' Even if the speaker here had only said that it was right to weep when valour was being buried in their grave, it would have been a metaphor, and a graphic one but the coupling of 'their valour' and 'her freedom' presents a kind of antithesis as well. 'The course of my words', said Iphicrates, 'lies straight through the middle of Chares' deeds': this is a proportional metaphor, and the phrase 'straight through the middle' makes it graphic. The expression 'to call in one danger to rescue us from another' is a graphic metaphor. Lycoleon said, defending Chabrias, 'They did not respect even that bronze statue of his that intercedes for him yonder'.This was a metaphor for the moment, though it would not always apply a vivid metaphor, however Chabrias is in danger, and his statue intercedes for him-that lifeless yet living thing which records his services to his country. 'Practising in every way littleness of mind' is metaphorical, for practising a quality implies increasing it. So is 'God kindled our reason to be a lamp within our soul', for both reason and light reveal things. So is 'we are not putting an end to our wars, but only postponing them', for both literal postponement and the making of such a peace as this apply to future action. So is such a saying as 'This treaty is a far nobler trophy than those we set up on fields of battle they celebrate small gains and single successes it celebrates our triumph in the war as a whole' for both trophy and treaty are signs of victory. So is 'A country pays a heavy reckoning in being condemned by the judgement of mankind', for a reckoning is damage deservedly incurred.

It has already been mentioned that liveliness is got by using the proportional type of metaphor and being making (ie. making your hearers see things). We have still to explain what we mean by their 'seeing things', and what must be done to effect this. By 'making them see things' I mean using expressions that represent things as in a state of activity. Thus, to say that a good man is 'four-square' is certainly a metaphor both the good man and the square are perfect but the metaphor does not suggest activity. On the other hand, in the expression 'with his vigour in full bloom' there is a notion of activity and so in 'But you must roam as free as a sacred victim' and in

"Thereas up sprang the Hellenes to their feet, "

where 'up sprang' gives us activity as well as metaphor, for it at once suggests swiftness. So with Homer's common practice of giving metaphorical life to lifeless things: all such passages are distinguished by the effect of activity they convey. Thus,

"Downward anon to the valley rebounded the boulder remorseless and "

Stuck in the earth, still panting to feed on the flesh of the heroes and

"And the point of the spear in its fury drove

"full through his breastbone. "

In all these examples the things have the effect of being active because they are made into living beings shameless behaviour and fury and so on are all forms of activity. And the poet has attached these ideas to the things by means of proportional metaphors: as the stone is to Sisyphus, so is the shameless man to his victim. In his famous similes, too, he treats inanimate things in the same way:

"Curving and crested with white, host following

Here he represents everything as moving and living and activity is movement.

Metaphors must be drawn, as has been said already, from things that are related to the original thing, and yet not obviously so related-just as in philosophy also an acute mind will perceive resemblances even in things far apart. Thus Archytas said that an arbitrator and an altar were the same, since the injured fly to both for refuge. Or you might say that an anchor and an overhead hook were the same, since both are in a way the same, only the one secures things from below and the other from above. And to speak of states as 'levelled' is to identify two widely different things, the equality of a physical surface and the equality of political powers.

Liveliness is specially conveyed by metaphor, and by the further power of surprising the hearer because the hearer expected something different, his acquisition of the new idea impresses him all the more. His mind seems to say, 'Yes, to be sure I never thought of that'. The liveliness of epigrammatic remarks is due to the meaning not being just what the words say: as in the saying of Stesichorus that 'the cicalas will chirp to themselves on the ground'. Well-constructed riddles are attractive for the same reason a new idea is conveyed, and there is metaphorical expression. So with the 'novelties' of Theodorus. In these the thought is startling, and, as Theodorus puts it, does not fit in with the ideas you already have. They are like the burlesque words that one finds in the comic writers. The effect is produced even by jokes depending upon changes of the letters of a word this too is a surprise. You find this in verse as well as in prose. The word which comes is not what the hearer imagined: thus

"Onward he came, and his feet were shod with his-chilblains, "

where one imagined the word would be 'sandals'. But the point should be clear the moment the words are uttered. Jokes made by altering the letters of a word consist in meaning, not just what you say, but something that gives a twist to the word used e.g. the remark of Theodorus about Nicon the harpist Thratt' ei su ('you Thracian slavey'), where he pretends to mean Thratteis su ('you harpplayer'), and surprises us when we find he means something else. So you enjoy the point when you see it, though the remark will fall flat unless you are aware that Nicon is Thracian. Or again: Boulei auton persai. In both these cases the saying must fit the facts. This is also true of such lively remarks as the one to the effect that to the Athenians their empire (arche) of the sea was not the beginning (arche) of their troubles, since they gained by it. Or the opposite one of Isocrates, that their empire (arche) was the beginning (arche) of their troubles. Either way, the speaker says something unexpected, the soundness of which is thereupon recognized. There would be nothing clever is saying 'empire is empire'. Isocrates means more than that, and uses the word with a new meaning. So too with the former saying, which denies that arche in one sense was arche in another sense. In all these jokes, whether a word is used in a second sense or metaphorically, the joke is good if it fits the facts. For instance, Anaschetos (proper name) ouk anaschetos: where you say that what is so-and-so in one sense is not so-and-so in another well, if the man is unpleasant, the joke fits the facts. Again, take-

"Thou must not be a stranger stranger than Thou should'st. "

Do not the words 'thou must not be', &c., amount to saying that the stranger must not always be strange? Here again is the use of one word in different senses. Of the same kind also is the much-praised verse of Anaxandrides:

"Death is most fit before you do

"Deeds that would make death fit for you. "

This amounts to saying 'it is a fit thing to die when you are not fit to die', or 'it is a fit thing to die when death is not fit for you', i.e. when death is not the fit return for what you are doing. The type of language employed-is the same in all these examples but the more briefly and antithetically such sayings can be expressed, the more taking they are, for antithesis impresses the new idea more firmly and brevity more quickly. They should always have either some personal application or some merit of expression, if they are to be true without being commonplace-two requirements not always satisfied simultaneously. Thus 'a man should die having done no wrong' is true but dull: 'the right man should marry the right woman' is also true but dull. No, there must be both good qualities together, as in 'it is fitting to die when you are not fit for death'. The more a saying has these qualitis, the livelier it appears: if, for instance, its wording is metaphorical, metaphorical in the right way, antithetical, and balanced, and at the same time it gives an idea of activity.

Successful similes also, as has been said above, are in a sense metaphors, since they always involve two relations like the proportional metaphor. Thus: a shield, we say, is the 'drinking-bowl of Ares', and a bow is the 'chordless lyre'. This way of putting a metaphor is not 'simple', as it would be if we called the bow a lyre or the shield a drinking-bowl. There are 'simple' similes also: we may say that a flute-player is like a monkey, or that a short-sighted man's eyes are like a lamp-flame with water dropping on it, since both eyes and flame keep winking. A simile succeeds best when it is a converted metaphor, for it is possible to say that a shield is like the drinking-bowl of Ares, or that a ruin is like a house in rags, and to say that Niceratus is like a Philoctetes stung by Pratys-the simile made by Thrasyniachus when he saw Niceratus, who had been beaten by Pratys in a recitation competition, still going about unkempt and unwashed. It is in these respects that poets fail worst when they fail, and succeed best when they succeed, i.e. when they give the resemblance pat, as in

"Those legs of his curl just like parsley leaves "

"Just like Philammon struggling with his punchball. "

These are all similes and that similes are metaphors has been stated often already.

Proverbs, again, are metaphors from one species to another. Suppose, for instance, a man to start some undertaking in hope of gain and then to lose by it later on, 'Here we have once more the man of Carpathus and his hare', says he. For both alike went through the said experience.

It has now been explained fairly completely how liveliness is secured and why it has the effect it has. Successful hyperboles are also metaphors, e.g. the one about the man with a black eye, 'you would have thought he was a basket of mulberries' here the 'black eye' is compared to a mulberry because of its colour, the exaggeration lying in the quantity of mulberries suggested. The phrase 'like so-and-so' may introduce a hyperbole under the form of a simile. Thus

"Just like Philammon struggling with his punchball "

is equivalent to 'you would have thought he was Philammon struggling with his punchball' and

"Those legs of his curl just like parsley leaves "

is equivalent to 'his legs are so curly that you would have thought they were not legs but parsley leaves'. Hyperboles are for young men to use they show vehemence of character and this is why angry people use them more than other people.

"Not though he gave me as much as the dust

"But her, the daughter of Atreus' son, I never will marry,

"Nay, not though she were fairer than Aphrodite the Golden,

"Defter of hand than Athene. "

(The Attic orators are particularly fond of this method of speech.) Consequently it does not suit an elderly speaker.

It should be observed that each kind of rhetoric has its own appropriate style. The style of written prose is not that of spoken oratory, nor are those of political and forensic speaking the same. Both written and spoken have to be known. To know the latter is to know how to speak good Greek. To know the former means that you are not obliged, as otherwise you are, to hold your tongue when you wish to communicate something to the general public.

The written style is the more finished: the spoken better admits of dramatic delivery-like the kind of oratory that reflects character and the kind that reflects emotion. Hence actors look out for plays written in the latter style, and poets for actors competent to act in such plays. Yet poets whose plays are meant to be read are read and circulated: Chaeremon, for instance, who is as finished as a professional speech-writer and Licymnius among the dithyrambic poets. Compared with those of others, the speeches of professional writers sound thin in actual contests. Those of the orators, on the other hand, are good to hear spoken, but look amateurish enough when they pass into the hands of a reader. This is just because they are so well suited for an actual tussle, and therefore contain many dramatic touches, which, being robbed of all dramatic rendering, fail to do their own proper work, and consequently look silly. Thus strings of unconnected words, and constant repetitions of words and phrases, are very properly condemned in written speeches: but not in spoken speeches-speakers use them freely, for they have a dramatic effect. In this repetition there must be variety of tone, paving the way, as it were, to dramatic effect e.g. 'This is the villain among you who deceived you, who cheated you, who meant to betray you completely'. This is the sort of thing that Philemon the actor used to do in the Old Men's Madness of Anaxandrides whenever he spoke the words 'Rhadamanthus and Palamedes', and also in the prologue to the Saints whenever he pronounced the pronoun 'I'. If one does not deliver such things cleverly, it becomes a case of 'the man who swallowed a poker'. So too with strings of unconnected words, e.g.'I came to him I met him I besought him'. Such passages must be acted, not delivered with the same quality and pitch of voice, as though they had only one idea in them. They have the further peculiarity of suggesting that a number of separate statements have been made in the time usually occupied by one. Just as the use of conjunctions makes many statements into a single one, so the omission of conjunctions acts in the reverse way and makes a single one into many. It thus makes everything more important: e.g. 'I came to him I talked to him I entreated him'-what a lot of facts! the hearer thinks-'he paid no attention to anything I said'. This is the effect which Homer seeks when he writes,

"Nireus likewise from Syme (three well-fashioned ships did bring),

"Nireus, the son of Aglaia (and Charopus, bright-faced king),

"Nireus, the comeliest man (of all that to Ilium's strand). "

If many things are said about a man, his name must be mentioned many times and therefore people think that, if his name is mentioned many times, many things have been said about him. So that Homer, by means of this illusion, has made a great deal of though he has mentioned him only in this one passage, and has preserved his memory, though he nowhere says a word about him afterwards.

Now the style of oratory addressed to public assemblies is really just like scene-painting. The bigger the throng, the more distant is the point of view: so that, in the one and the other, high finish in detail is superfluous and seems better away. The forensic style is more highly finished still more so is the style of language addressed to a single judge, with whom there is very little room for rhetorical artifices, since he can take the whole thing in better, and judge of what is to the point and what is not the struggle is less intense and so the judgement is undisturbed. This is why the same speakers do not distinguish themselves in all these branches at once high finish is wanted least where dramatic delivery is wanted most, and here the speaker must have a good voice, and above all, a strong one. It is ceremonial oratory that is most literary, for it is meant to be read and next to it forensic oratory.

To analyse style still further, and add that it must be agreeable or magnificent, is useless for why should it have these traits any more than 'restraint', 'liberality', or any other moral excellence? Obviously agreeableness will be produced by the qualities already mentioned, if our definition of excellence of style has been correct. For what other reason should style be 'clear', and 'not mean' but 'appropriate'? If it is prolix, it is not clear nor yet if it is curt. Plainly the middle way suits best. Again, style will be made agreeable by the elements mentioned, namely by a good blending of ordinary and unusual words, by the rhythm, and by-the persuasiveness that springs from appropriateness.

This concludes our discussion of style, both in its general aspects and in its special applications to the various branches of rhetoric. We have now to deal with Arrangement.

A speech has two parts. You must state your case, and you must prove it. You cannot either state your case and omit to prove it, or prove it without having first stated it since any proof must be a proof of something, and the only use of a preliminary statement is the proof that follows it. Of these two parts the first part is called the Statement of the case, the second part the Argument, just as we distinguish between Enunciation and Demonstration. The current division is absurd. For 'narration' surely is part of a forensic speech only: how in a political speech or a speech of display can there be 'narration' in the technical sense? or a reply to a forensic opponent? or an epilogue in closely-reasoned speeches? Again, introduction, comparison of conflicting arguments, and recapitulation are only found in political speeches when there is a struggle between two policies. They may occur then so may even accusation and defence, often enough but they form no essential part of a political speech. Even forensic speeches do not always need epilogues not, for instance, a short speech, nor one in which the facts are easy to remember, the effect of an epilogue being always a reduction in the apparent length. It follows, then, that the only necessary parts of a speech are the Statement and the Argument. These are the essential features of a speech and it cannot in any case have more than Introduction, Statement, Argument, and Epilogue. 'Refutation of the Opponent' is part of the arguments: so is 'Comparison' of the opponent's case with your own, for that process is a magnifying of your own case and therefore a part of the arguments, since one who does this proves something. The Introduction does nothing like this nor does the Epilogue-it merely reminds us of what has been said already. If we make such distinctions we shall end, like Theodorus and his followers, by distinguishing 'narration' proper from 'post-narration' and 'pre-narration', and 'refutation' from 'final refutation'. But we ought only to bring in a new name if it indicates a real species with distinct specific qualities otherwise the practice is pointless and silly, like the way Licymnius invented names in his Art of Rhetoric-'Secundation', 'Divagation', 'Ramification'.

The Introduction is the beginning of a speech, corresponding to the prologue in poetry and the prelude in flute-music they are all beginnings, paving the way, as it were, for what is to follow. The musical prelude resembles the introduction to speeches of display as flute players play first some brilliant passage they know well and then fit it on to the opening notes of the piece itself, so in speeches of display the writer should proceed in the same way he should begin with what best takes his fancy, and then strike up his theme and lead into it which is indeed what is always done. (Take as an example the introduction to the Helen of Isocrates-there is nothing in common between the 'eristics' and Helen.) And here, even if you travel far from your subject, it is fitting, rather than that there should be sameness in the entire speech.

The usual subject for the introductions to speeches of display is some piece of praise or censure. Thus Gorgias writes in his Olympic Speech, 'You deserve widespread admiration, men of Greece', praising thus those who start,ed the festival gatherings.' Isocrates, on the other hand, censures them for awarding distinctions to fine athletes but giving no prize for intellectual ability. Or one may begin with a piece of advice, thus: 'We ought to honour good men and so I myself am praising Aristeides' or 'We ought to honour those who are unpopular but not bad men, men whose good qualities have never been noticed, like Alexander son of Priam.' Here the orator gives advice. Or we may begin as speakers do in the law-courts that is to say, with appeals to the audience to excuse us if our speech is about something paradoxical, difficult, or hackneyed like Choerilus in the lines-

"But now when allotment of all has been made. "

Introductions to speeches of display, then, may be composed of some piece of praise or censure, of advice to do or not to do something, or of appeals to the audience and you must choose between making these preliminary passages connected or disconnected with the speech itself.

Introductions to forensic speeches, it must be observed, have the same value as the prologues of dramas and the introductions to epic poems the dithyrambic prelude resembling the introduction to a speech of display, as

"For thee, and thy gilts, and thy battle-spoils. "

In prologues, and in epic poetry, a foretaste of the theme is given, intended to inform the hearers of it in advance instead of keeping their minds in suspense. Anything vague puzzles them: so give them a grasp of the beginning, and they can hold fast to it and follow the argument. So we find-

"Sing, O goddess of song, of the Wrath.

"Tell me, O Muse, of the hero.

"Lead me to tell a new tale, how there came great warfare to Europe

The tragic poets, too, let us know the pivot of their play if not at the outset like Euripides, at least somewhere in the preface to a speech like Sophocles-

and so in Comedy. This, then, is the most essential function and distinctive property of the introduction, to show what the aim of the speech is and therefore no introduction ought to be employed where the subject is not long or intricate.

The other kinds of introduction employed are remedial in purpose, and may be used in any type of speech. They are concerned with the speaker, the hearer, the subject, or the speaker's opponent. Those concerned with the speaker himself or with his opponent are directed to removing or exciting prejudice. But whereas the defendant will begin by dealing with this sort of thing, the prosecutor will take quite another line and deal with such matters in the closing part of his speech. The reason for this is not far to seek. The defendant, when he is going to bring himself on the stage, must clear away any obstacles, and therefore must begin by removing any prejudice felt against him. But if you are to excite prejudice, you must do so at the close, so that the judges may more easily remember what you have said.

The appeal to the hearer aims at securing his goodwill, or at arousing his resentment, or sometimes at gaining his serious attention to the case, or even at distracting it-for gaining it is not always an advantage, and speakers will often for that reason try to make him laugh.

You may use any means you choose to make your hearer receptive among others, giving him a good impression of your character, which always helps to secure his attention. He will be ready to attend to anything that touches himself and to anything that is important, surprising, or agreeable and you should accordingly convey to him the impression that what you have to say is of this nature. If you wish to distract his attention, you should imply that the subject does not affect him, or is trivial or disagreeable. But observe, all this has nothing to do with the speech itself. It merely has to do with the weak-minded tendency of the hearer to listen to what is beside the point. Where this tendency is absent, no introduction wanted beyond a summary statement of your subject, to put a sort of head on the main body of your speech. Moreover, calls for attention, when required, may come equally well in any part of a speech in fact, the beginning of it is just where there is least slackness of interest it is therefore ridiculous to put this kind of thing at the beginning, when every one is listening with most attention. Choose therefore any point in the speech where such an appeal is needed, and then say 'Now I beg you to note this point-it concerns you quite as much as myself' or

"I will tell you that whose like you have never yet "

heard for terror, or for wonder. This is what Prodicus called 'slipping in a bit of the fifty-drachma show-lecture for the audience whenever they began to nod'. It is plain that such introductions are addressed not to ideal hearers, but to hearers as we find them. The use of introductions to excite prejudice or to dispel misgivings is universal-

"My lord, I will not say that eagerly. "

Introductions are popular with those whose case is weak, or looks weak it pays them to dwell on anything rather than the actual facts of it. That is why slaves, instead of answering the questions put to them, make indirect replies with long preambles. The means of exciting in your hearers goodwill and various other feelings of the same kind have already been described. The poet finely says May I find in Phaeacian hearts, at my coming, goodwill and compassion and these are the two things we should aim at. In speeches of display we must make the hearer feel that the eulogy includes either himself or his family or his way of life or something or other of the kind. For it is true, as Socrates says in the Funeral Speech, that 'the difficulty is not to praise the Athenians at Athens but at Sparta'.

The introductions of political oratory will be made out of the same materials as those of the forensic kind, though the nature of political oratory makes them very rare. The subject is known already, and therefore the facts of the case need no introduction but you may have to say something on account of yourself or to your opponents or those present may be inclined to treat the matter either more or less seriously than you wish them to. You may accordingly have to excite or dispel some prejudice, or to make the matter under discussion seem more or less important than before: for either of which purposes you will want an introduction. You may also want one to add elegance to your remarks, feeling that otherwise they will have a casual air, like Gorgias' eulogy of the Eleans, in which, without any preliminary sparring or fencing, he begins straight off with 'Happy city of Elis!'

In dealing with prejudice, one class of argument is that whereby you can dispel objectionable suppositions about yourself. It makes no practical difference whether such a supposition has been put into words or not, so that this distinction may be ignored. Another way is to meet any of the issues directly: to deny the alleged fact or to say that you have done no harm, or none to him, or not as much as he says or that you have done him no injustice, or not much or that you have done nothing disgraceful, or nothing disgraceful enough to matter: these are the sort of questions on which the dispute hinges. Thus Iphicrates replying to Nausicrates, admitted that he had done the deed alleged, and that he had done Nausicrates harm, but not that he had done him wrong. Or you may admit the wrong, but balance it with other facts, and say that, if the deed harmed him, at any rate it was honourable or that, if it gave him pain, at least it did him good or something else like that. Another way is to allege that your action was due to mistake, or bad luck, or necessity as Sophocles said he was not trembling, as his traducer maintained, in order to make people think him an old man, but because he could not help it he would rather not be eighty years old. You may balance your motive against your actual deed saying, for instance, that you did not mean to injure him but to do so-and-so that you did not do what you are falsely charged with doing-the damage was accidental-'I should indeed be a detestable person if I had deliberately intended this result.' Another way is open when your calumniator, or any of his connexions, is or has been subject to the same grounds for suspicion. Yet another, when others are subject to the same grounds for suspicion but are admitted to be in fact innocent of the charge: e.g. 'Must I be a profligate because I am well-groomed? Then so-and-so must be one too.' Another, if other people have been calumniated by the same man or some one else, or, without being calumniated, have been suspected, like yourself now, and yet have been proved innocent. Another way is to return calumny for calumny and say, 'It is monstrous to trust the man's statements when you cannot trust the man himself.' Another is when the question has been already decided. So with Euripides' reply to Hygiaenon, who, in the action for an exchange of properties, accused him of impiety in having written a line encouraging perjury-

"My tongue hath sworn: no oath is on my soul. "

Euripides said that his opponent himself was guilty in bringing into the law-courts cases whose decision belonged to the Dionysiac contests. 'If I have not already answered for my words there, I am ready to do so if you choose to prosecute me there.' Another method is to denounce calumny, showing what an enormity it is, and in particular that it raises false <


What Is a Man? The Allegory of the Chariot

What is a man? What sort of man should I be? What does it mean to live a good life? What is the best way to live and how do I attain excellence? What should I aim for, and what training and practices must I do to achieve those aims?

Such questions have been asked for thousands of years. Few men have grappled with them more, and provided keener insight to the answers, than the philosophers of ancient Greece. In particular, Plato’s vision of the tripartite nature of the soul, or psyche, as explained though the allegory of the chariot, is something I have returned to throughout my life. It furnishes an unmatched symbol of what a man is, can be, and what he must do to bridge those two points and attain andreia (manliness), arête (excellence), and finally eudaimonia (full human flourishing).

Today we will discuss that allegory and its meaning. While an understanding of the whole allegory and the pondering of it can bring great insight, the ultimate goal of this article is in fact to lay the foundation for two more posts to come in which we will uncover the nature of the one component of Plato’s vision of the soul that has almost entirely been lost to modern men: thumos.

The Allegory of the Chariot

In the Phaedrus, Plato (through his mouthpiece, Socrates) shares the allegory of the chariot to explain the tripartite nature of the human soul or psyche.

The chariot is pulled by two winged horses, one mortal and the other immortal.

The mortal horse is deformed and obstinate. Plato describes the horse as a “crooked lumbering animal, put together anyhow…of a dark color, with grey eyes and blood-red complexion the mate of insolence and pride, shag-eared and deaf, hardly yielding to whip and spur.”

The immortal horse, on the other hand, is noble and game, “upright and cleanly made…his color is white, and his eyes dark he is a lover of honor and modesty and temperance, and the follower of true glory he needs no touch of the whip, but is guided by word and admonition only.”

In the driver’s seat is the charioteer, tasked with reining in these disparate steeds, guiding and harnessing them to propel the vehicle with strength and efficiency. The charioteer’s destination? The ridge of heaven, beyond which he may behold the Forms: essences of things like Beauty, Wisdom, Courage, Justice, Goodness — everlasting Truth and absolute Knowledge. These essences nourish the horses’ wings, keeping the chariot in flight.

The charioteer joins a procession of gods, led by Zeus, on this trip into the heavens. Unlike human souls, the gods have two immortal horses to pull their chariots and are able to easily soar above. Mortals, on the other hand, have a much more turbulent ride. The white horse wishes to rise, but the dark horse attempts to pull the chariot back towards the earth. As the horses pull in opposing directions, and the charioteer attempts to get them into sync, his chariot bobs above the ridge of heaven then down again, and he catches glimpses of the great beyond before sinking once more.

If the charioteer is able to behold the Forms, he gets to go on another revolution around the heavens. But if he cannot successfully pilot the chariot, the horses’ wings wither from lack of nourishment, or break off when the horses collide and attack each other, or crash into the chariots of others. The chariot then plummets to earth, the horses lose their wings, and the soul becomes embodied in human flesh. The degree to which the soul falls, and the “rank” of the mortal being it must then be embodied in is based on the amount of Truth it beheld while in the heavens. Rather like the idea of reincarnation. The degree of the fall also determines how long it takes for the horses to regrow their wings and once again take flight. Basically, the more Truth the charioteer beheld on his journey, the shallower his fall, and the easier it is for him to get up and get going again. The regrowth of the wings is hastened by the mortal soul encountering people and experiences that contain touches of divinity, and recall to his memory the Truth he beheld in his preexistence. Plato describes such moments as looking “through the glass dimly” and they hasten the soul’s return to the heavens.

Interpreting the Allegory

Plato’s allegory of the chariot can be interpreted on a number of levels – as symbolic of the path to becoming godlike, spiritual transcendence, personal progress and attainment of “Superhuman” status, or psychological health. There is much one can ponder about it. Below we delve into several of the main points.

The chariot, charioteer, and white and dark horses symbolize the soul, and its three main components.

The Charioteer represents man’s Reason, the dark horse his appetites, and the white horse his thumos. We’ll explore the nature of thumos in-depth next time, but for now, you can read it simply as “spiritedness.” Another way to label the three elements of soul are as the lover of wisdom (charioteer), the lover of gain (dark horse), and the lover of victory (white horse). Aristotle described the three elements as the contemplative, hedonistic, and political, or, knowledge, pleasure, and honor.

The Greeks saw these elements of soul as physical, almost independent entities, not so much with bodies, but as real forces, like electricity that could move a man to act and think in certain ways. Each element has its own motivations and desires: reason seeks truth and knowledge, the appetites seek food, drink, sex, and material wealth, and thumos seeks glory, honor, and recognition. Plato believed reason has the highest aims, followed by thumos, and then the appetites. But each soul force, if properly harnessed and employed, can help a man become eudaimon.

Reason’s job, with the aid of thumos, is to discern the best aims to pursue, and then train his “horses” to work together towards those aims. As the charioteer, he must have vision and purpose – he must know where he is going — and he must understand the nature and desires of his two horses if he wishes to properly harness their energies. A charioteer can err by either failing to hitch one of the horses to the chariot altogether, or by failing to bridle the horse, and instead letting him run wild. In the latter case, Plato argued, “the best part [Reason] is naturally weak in a man so that it cannot govern and control the brood of beasts within him but can only serve them and can learn nothing but the ways of flattering them.”

Obtaining Harmony of Soul

The masterful charioteer does not ignore his own motivations, nor the desires of thumos and appetite, but neither does he let his two horses run wild. He lets Reason rule, takes stock of all his desires, identifies his best and truest ones – those that lead to virtue and truth — and guides his horses towards them. He does not ignore or indulge them – he harnesses them. Each horse has its strengths and weaknesses, and the white horse can lead a man into the wrong path just as the dark horse can, but when properly trained, thumos becomes the ally of the charioteer. Together, reason and thumos work to pull the appetites into sync.

Instead of having “civil war amongst them,” the deft charioteer understands each role the three forces of his soul play, and he guides them in carrying out that role without either entirely usurping their role, nor allowing them to interfere with each other. He achieves harmony amongst the elements. Thus, instead of dissipating his energies in contradictory and detrimental directions, he channels those energies towards his goals.

Achieving this harmony of soul, Plato argues, is a precursor to tackling any other endeavor of life:

“having first attained to self-mastery and beautiful order within himself, and having harmonized these three principles, the notes or intervals of three terms quite literally the lowest, the highest, and the mean, and all others there may be between them, and having linked and bound all three together and made of himself a unit, one man instead of many, self-controlled and in unison, he should then and then only turn to practice if he find aught to do either in the getting of wealth or the tendance of the body or it may be in political action or private business, in all such doings believing and naming the just and honorable action to be that which preserves and helps to produce this condition of soul.”

The foundational nature of gaining mastery over one’s soul, Plato continues,

“is the chief reason why it should be our main concern that each of us, neglecting all other studies, should seek after and study this thing—if in any way he may be able to learn of and discover the man who will give him the ability and the knowledge to distinguish the life that is good from that which is bad, and always and everywhere to choose the best that the conditions allow.”

A man that makes this pursuit his aim, and allows it to guide all his thoughts and actions, “will gladly take part in and enjoy those which he thinks will make him a better man, but in public and private life he will shun those that may overthrow the established habit of his soul.”

Taking Flight and Progressing in Our Journey

As you’ll remember, in the allegory of the chariot, the chariot falls from the heavens when the horses do not receive adequate nourishment from the Forms, or when the horses rebel and the charioteer does a poor job of directing them. They lose their wings, and must stay on earth until they regrow – a process which is hastened by remembering what one saw before the fall.

Plato believed that discovering all truth was not a process of learning, but of remembering what one once knew. His philosophy may be interpreted literally as saying we had a preexistence before this life. But it also has meaning in a more figurative sense. We get off track in becoming the men we wish to be when we succumb to vice (being overpowered by the dark horse), and we tend to succumb to vice when we forget who we are, who we want to be, and the insights into those two pieces of knowledge we have already attained and experienced. Doing things that remind us of the truths we hold dear keeps us “in flight” and progressing with our lives.

Understanding the Dark Horse

In order to train and harness the power latent in the forces of his soul, a man must understand the nature of his “horses” and how to utilize their strengths and rein in their weaknesses.

A man’s dark horse, or appetites, are not difficult to understand you have probably felt its primal pull towards money, sex, food, and drink many times in your life.

But despite our intimate acquaintance with our appetites, or perhaps because of it, the dark horse is not easy to properly train and make use of. Doing so requires achieving moderation, or as Aristotle would put it, finding the “golden mean” between extremes.

A man who lets his appetites run completely wild is the unabashed hedonist. He does not seek to rein in the dark horse at all, letting him pull the chariot after whichever pleasure crosses its path. This is the man who lives for nothing higher than to eat good food, get drunk, have sex, and make money. He seeks after effeminizing luxury with abandon and will do anything to get it. With no check to his behavior, the result can be a giant gut, pickled brains, massive debt, and a prison sentence for corruption.

A life wholly dedicated to the satisfaction of one’s bodily and pecuniary pleasures make man no different than the animals. Aristotle called such a life bovine, and Plato argued that the result of letting oneself be dominated by his appetites “is the ruthless enslavement of the divinest part of himself to the most despicable and godless part.” Such a man, Plato submitted, should be “deemed wretched.”

On the other end of the spectrum is the man who sees his physical desires as wholly wrong or sinful – troublesome or evil stumbling blocks on the path to spiritual purity or enlightenment. This man seeks to nullify his flesh, and cut off its cravings for pleasure entirely. This is the man who spends so much of his life thinking of sex as sinful, that he can’t turn off that association and enjoy it, even after he is married. He averts his eyes from women as living porn. Food is merely fuel. He often seems flat, sterile, and closed off to others, though often you can sense the bottled impulses bubbling beneath the surface that he’s tried so hard to deny. And because of the lack of a healthy outlet, that bubbling often becomes a toxic stew that will one day burst forth in a decidedly unhealthy way.

Plato believed that the appetites were the lowest of the forces of the soul, and that allowing the dark horse to dominate and enslave you would lead to a base, unvirtuous life far from arête and eudaimonia. Yet he also argued that the dark horse, if properly trained, imparted just as much energy to the pulling of the chariot as the white horse did. The chariot that soars highest makes use of both horses side by side. A would-be ace charioteer neither entirely indulges his dark horse nor wholly cuts him off. He harnesses and directs the energy in a positive way.

Between the two extremes of unchecked hedonism and the iron-fisted squashing of bodily appetites lies a middle way. This is the man who maintains a sense of sensuality and earthiness, who makes room for the pleasures of body and money but puts them in their proper place, who, as Dr. Robin Meyers puts it, is able to find “the virtue in the vice.” He enjoys sex thoroughly, but does so within the context of love and commitment. He enjoys good food and drink, without mindlessly engorging and imbibing. He appreciates money, and that which it can buy, but does not make acquiring it his central aim.

The dark horse, when properly trained and directed, can lead one closer, not further from the good life. Pleasures satisfied with discretion make a man happy and balanced, and keep him feeling healthy and motivated enough to tackle his higher goals. And the appetites themselves can lead directly to those loftier aims. The desire for money, when kept in balance, can lead to success, recognition, and independence. Lust, when properly directed, leads a man to love, and Plato believed that beholding one’s lover was a central path to recalling the Beauty of the Forms, and regrowing one’s wings for another trip into the heavens.

That is the nature of the dark horse – a force that can be used for both good and ill, depending on the mastery of the charioteer. It is fairly easy to grasp, if not always to live. But what of the white horse, thumos? That is another matter. There is no word in our modern language equivalent to this ancient concept. We have here rendered it “spiritedness,” but in truth it encompasses much, much more. It is to that subject we will turn next time.

You can read the entire Phaedrus online for free here. Plato/Socrates hit the subject from another angle and metaphor – that of a rational man, lion, and hydra-like beast – in Book IX of the Republic.


Alan Silvestri: The Man Who Needs No Introduction

A few days ago, I arrived in Gent, Belgium for the 2015 World Soundtrack Awards and Concert, as part of the Film Fest Gent, that was celebrating the music of the great Alan Silvestri. I entered a beautiful hotel and proceeded to an equally lovely room within. There, greeting me with a welcoming smile, was the man himself. I am a lifelong fan of him and his incredible music, so the simple act of shaking his hand seemed surreal to me. But with his relaxed and approachable demeanor, it was only a momentary thing before I felt as completely comfortable as I would talking to a friend. The real task was knowing where to begin.

With such a huge filmography spanning over forty years, and a vast array of music covering all corners of the globe and beyond, it is almost impossible to pick something to focus on from Silvestri’s unbelievable career. As his working relationship with Director Robert Zemeckis has been one of the longest in film history, while producing some of the most popular and well-loved films ever made, such as the Back to the Future Trilogy, Cast Away and Forrest Gump, it seemed like a solid place to make camp.

Robert Zemeckis: Developing a language

I began by going all the way back to the past, and engaging his thoughts on the success of his collaboration with Robert Zemeckis, specifically whether it was still an attractive challenge creatively and whether their process is easier now.

Yeah, all of that. It’s easier because we’ve been together for thirty-three years and we have a language between us and a lot of history and a vocabulary. It’s also challenging because of his film-making and what he does. He sets the bar very high and we all have to go there and it’s always challenging. So it’s both easier and more difficult.

With that in mind, I wanted to go deep into their vocabulary and learn how they worked on a specific project, and with Cast Away being singular in all aspects, it came to mind first, because it only has around fifteen minutes of music in the entire film, and had such an unusual filming schedule.

That was a rather unique experience. As you probably know, Bob shot the first half of that film and then Tom Hanks had to lose something like forty to sixty pounds. So Bob went off and made an entire film in the middle. He went and shot What Lies Beneath, I scored it and we finished it. Then he went back to the island and shot Tom as the skinny Tom.

Robert Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri

In film, composers are brought in at differing times of course. It can be right at the start of production, which mostly happens with long-term collaborators like Silvestri and Zemeckis, but usually composers come in towards the end, when the film has been shot and the time-frame tends to be short for the music to be completed. As I expected, Silvestri was exposed to the film at the beginning, but with the break in filming of a year, and scoring a whole film in-between, what effect did this have on his overall writing process?

I had seen the first half of the film before he shot the second half, and I remember sitting in the screening room, just with Bob, and I was thinking I don’t see any music in here. So when it was all put together, we sat in the screening room again and I’ll never forget that about an hour into the film, Bob’s was sat next to me and I kept seeing him every once in a while start to glance in my direction, like really, you’re not going to do anything, really?

This is surprising because I, like many others, would assume that Zemeckis perhaps always intended on the wonderfully sparse use of music, but it was Silvestri who just didn’t feel the film needed a lot of music, which is a big compliment to Zemeckis’ film-making.

Holding Back: The art of knowing when less is more

As all composers have their own way of drawing their music from within themselves, I was curious as to how he finally came to a decision about the music of Cast Away, and what difficulties he faced with not using it for so long in the film.

We spent the whole time on the island with no music. The decision really had to do with the fact that I get motivated by something narrative, by something in the story, and the way all of this worked for me was that the music somehow really didn’t feel like it should be there until this dramatic shift in the film. For me, the dramatic shift was okay Tom crashes, now he’s on the island, he’s surviving, but it was still all known. All of this stuff was known. So for me it was only after he had somehow made a decision that he would rather face the unknown and even die, than spend another day living the way he had been living, that the movie then moved into this new place for me.

In the modern-day, it is almost unheard of for a film to have such a short amount of music, and with pressures from studios, producers and even audiences, I wanted to know if he ever felt the need to just write more music and not take the risk.

There was of course a temptation to score him trying to get the raft out of the waves, but it would have been such an obvious kind of way to go. So with all of this I just kept waiting and waiting, and then he did break out of the wave, but I still didn’t feel like it was time to play any music. Where I felt it was time to play was after all of the action was over, he’s through the wave and then he looks back at the island. The island was the known world. That was security to him. He knew how to eat there, to sleep there, exist there, and now he’s out in the elements all alone, and that to me was the beginning of that whole phase of the film.

So that’s where the music came in for the first time. But again, there was a tremendous amount of pressure on Bob to just have me playing score all the way through the island and Wilson. That is one of the most amazing things about Robert Zemeckis he will dare to do something like that. It was incredibly bold for him to do that.

Back to the Future: The live-to-film concerts

Moving on from the specifics of his composing process, I asked him about perhaps his most historic film score Back to the Future, specifically its renewed life as Silvestri’s score is now being performed all over the world in a live-to-film concert setting. What were his thoughts on these concerts, and what other film scores of his were on the radar to make the transition to live performances?

We are looking at some things yes. I think Back to the Future two and three are kind of built in to do it, and I don’t even know if I’d have to write anything additional. I think they’d just work the way they are. But there are some considerations such as the basic financial side, the crews, the theatres and musicians as well. But actually one of the big ones is the length of running time. For instance when we were putting together Back to the Future, we had a two and a half hour window including the intermission that we needed to work within. Because we needed the intermission, and we needed everyone to get back to their seats, and importantly we needed to finish the film within that window. So when it came time for me to put something together for the overture, it was done to a very specific amount of time, as was the entr’acte. It needed to be more than a minute, but less than a minute and a half. Complex stuff like that.

It must be a very complicated job to convert a film to a live performance concert. It would be easy to think that they just put the film on the big screen, and the orchestra sits and plays the music. But it is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of work to come to fruition. For example, not all the original music is actually written down. Composers change their work mid-recording session after already printing, and sometimes it isn’t documented. So from the original sketches to the final film, it can differ immensely. I asked him about travelling back in time himself to put his mind back into 1985 again, so he could write new music.

I added twenty minutes more to the original because the whole front of the film had no music. There’s nothing. You don’t hear any score until the DeLorean is coming out of the truck. So the orchestra would be just sitting there. It’s fine in the theatre, but in the concert hall it wouldn’t have worked, so the idea was to go back and do some more music which I did, and Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale blessed it. I took the music from the original scores and did it the way it was done in the original scores as well, so anyone who is a future fan is not going to say “oh my god, what did they do to my movie?!” That’s what we really didn’t want people to feel. We wanted people to just feel like “ah, it’s Back to the Future.”

I’ve been to a number of these performances now and it really seems to work. The idea was to have it really sound and feel like that music was always in the movie. Many folks have come up and said “where did you add music?”

Personally, I believe another absolute classic from Zemeckis and Silvestri Forrest Gump, would be a big success converted to a live-to-film concert. The music plays an integral part in the heart of that film, and seeing and hearing it performed by an orchestra and choir live would be very special. Silvestri gave me his impression of the idea, and excitingly teased the possibility:

When you start to look at a film like Forrest Gump, which the film alone is two and a half hours, it’s not to say that we wont eventually be able to do a film like that, but it’s going to require some strategic thinking. And of course the margins are probably not that great for the folks putting on these kinds of shows. But anyway yes, we are talking about it.

The 2015 World Soundtrack Awards and Concert: Honouring a legend

The whole reason why I was able to sit down with Alan Silvestri and talk with him about his beloved music, was because, as I mentioned at the beginning, I was in Gent, Belgium for the 2015 World Soundtrack Awards and Concert, where the Brussels Philharmonic and The Flemish Radio Choir, under the baton of Dirk Brossé, beautifully performed a large selection of his great work including Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Predator, Mousehunt, The Polar Express, The Mummy Returns, and in a moment of utter delight, Silvestri himself took to the stage to conduct a suite from his most recent score for the film The Walk, which is again another collaboration with Zemeckis. He told me what it meant for him to be recognised in such a generous manner:

Silvestri conducting his suite from The Walk at the 2015 World Soundtrack Awards and Concert

It’s pretty amazing. I had my first rehearsal last night where I had the chance to hear the orchestra and work with them. They’ve done a recording that I’ve heard, of quite a few things of mine that they will perform tonight, which is fantastic. Very often when people go off and record something that I’ve written and I’m not involved in it, you get some things that make you think oh, that’s not exactly what I had in mind, but this was a very pleasant surprise. Maestro Dirk Brossé really captured the heart of everything and it was a pleasure for me. So I’m excited about tonight.

As our time together drew to a close, I mentioned my recent trip to Vienna, where I attended the ‘Hollywood in Vienna’ concerts that honoured him in 2011 and James Newton Howard this year. He then continued to tell me about how special it is for him to be asked by film music festivals and concert organisers about performing his work.

Silvestri collecting his Max Steiner Award at the 2011 Hollywood in Vienna Concert.

It is overwhelming. It’s incredible. James had talked to me a good while ago about it, and he said “so you’ve done that right?” and I said “oh yeah” and he asked “well, you know they’ve asked me to do it and what do you think?” I told him “you should go do this! It’s just amazing.” I’ve not talked to him since he did it, but I’ve seen pictures of him there. I think it was an amazing experience for James and for everyone there I’m sure. He is fantastic and it’s so overwhelming the whole thing. Being in that place with all those people and feeling how they embrace one’s work, it’s just over the top. I continue to marvel that I even get to do this. So it’s a thrill, still.

So that was the end of my time with the great Alan Silvestri. It was so special to hear someone of his talent and prominence talking about his astonishing career. To spend time with such a legend of film music sharing his thoughts with me and giving an insight into his mind, was a joyful experience that I will never forget.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’-winner of the 2015 World Soundtrack Awards Patrick Doyle, and also the ‘Best Original Film Score of the Year award’-winner and Birdman composer Antonio Sanchez. So look out for those two interviews in the near future.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the musical genius of Alan Silvestri, and again a big thank you to the man himself. Also I would like to give a huge thank you to Clothilde Lebrun of TrailerMusicNews.com, who accompanied me in the interview.

If you want to know more about his upcoming projects then you can find out more here on IMDB. All of his work is available on iTunes. His most recent score for The Walk is available now on iTunes and Amazon. You can find out more about the World Soundtrack Awards on their official website.


5. The Syllogistic

Aristotle&rsquos most famous achievement as logician is his theory of inference, traditionally called the syllogistic (though not by Aristotle). That theory is in fact the theory of inferences of a very specific sort: inferences with two premises, each of which is a categorical sentence, having exactly one term in common, and having as conclusion a categorical sentence the terms of which are just those two terms not shared by the premises. Aristotle calls the term shared by the premises the middle term (meson) and each of the other two terms in the premises an extreme (akron). The middle term must be either subject or predicate of each premise, and this can occur in three ways: the middle term can be the subject of one premise and the predicate of the other, the predicate of both premises, or the subject of both premises. Aristotle refers to these term arrangements as figures (schêmata):

5.1 The Figures

First Figure Second Figure Third Figure
Predicate Subject Predicate Subject Predicate Subject
Premise (a) (b) (a) (b) (a) (c)
Premise (b) (c) (a) (c) (b) (c)
Conclusion (a) (c) (b) (c) (a) (b)

Aristotle calls the term which is the predicate of the conclusion the major term and the term which is the subject of the conclusion the minor term. The premise containing the major term is the major premise, and the premise containing the minor term is the minor premise.

Aristotle then systematically investigates all possible combinations of two premises in each of the three figures. For each combination, he either demonstrates that some conclusion necessarily follows or demonstrates that no conclusion follows. The results he states are correct.

5.2 Methods of Proof: &ldquoPerfect&rdquo Deductions, Conversion, Reduction

Aristotle&rsquos proofs can be divided into two categories, based on a distinction he makes between &ldquoperfect&rdquo or &ldquocomplete&rdquo (teleios) deductions and &ldquoimperfect&rdquo or &ldquoincomplete&rdquo (atelês) deductions. A deduction is perfect if it &ldquoneeds no external term in order to show the necessary result&rdquo (24b23&ndash24), and it is imperfect if it &ldquoneeds one or several in addition that are necessary because of the terms supposed but were not assumed through premises&rdquo (24b24&ndash25). The precise interpretation of this distinction is debatable, but it is at any rate clear that Aristotle regards the perfect deductions as not in need of proof in some sense. For imperfect deductions, Aristotle does give proofs, which invariably depend on the perfect deductions. Thus, with some reservations, we might compare the perfect deductions to the axioms or primitive rules of a deductive system.

In the proofs for imperfect deductions, Aristotle says that he &ldquoreduces&rdquo (anagein) each case to one of the perfect forms and that they are thereby &ldquocompleted&rdquo or &ldquoperfected&rdquo. These completions are either probative (deiktikos: a modern translation might be &ldquodirect&rdquo) or through the impossible (dia to adunaton).

A direct deduction is a series of steps leading from the premises to the conclusion, each of which is either a conversion of a previous step or an inference from two previous steps relying on a first-figure deduction. Conversion, in turn, is inferring from a proposition another which has the subject and predicate interchanged. Specifically, Aristotle argues that three such conversions are sound:

[egin Eab & ightarrow Eba Iab & ightarrow Iba Aab & ightarrow Iba end]

He undertakes to justify these in An. Pr. I.2. From a modern standpoint, the third is sometimes regarded with suspicion. Using it we can get Some monsters are chimeras from the apparently true All chimeras are monsters but the former is often construed as implying in turn There is something which is a monster and a chimera, and thus that there are monsters and there are chimeras. In fact, this simply points up something about Aristotle&rsquos system: Aristotle in effect supposes that all terms in syllogisms are non-empty. (For further discussion of this point, see the entry on the square of opposition).

As an example of the procedure, we may take Aristotle&rsquos proof of Camestres. He says:

From this text, we can extract an exact formal proof, as follows:

Step Justification Aristotle&rsquos Text
1. (MaN) If (M) belongs to every (N)
2. (MeX) but to no (X),
To prove:
(NeX)
then neither will (N) belong to any (X).
3. (MeX) (2, premise) For if (M) belongs to no (X),
4. (XeM) (3, conversion of (e)) then neither does (X) belong to any (M)
5. (MaN) (1, premise) but (M) belonged to every (N)
6. (XeN) (4, 5, Celarent) therefore, (X) will belong to no (N) (for the first figure has come about).
7. (NeX) (6, conversion of (e)) And since the privative converts, neither will (N) belong to any (X).

A completion or proof &ldquothrough the impossible&rdquo shows that a certain conclusion follows from a pair of premises by assuming as a third premise the denial of that conclusion and giving a deduction, from it and one of the original premises, the denial (or the contrary) of the other premises. This is the deduction of an &ldquoimpossible&rdquo, and Aristotle&rsquos proof ends at that point. An example is his proof of Baroco in 27a36&ndashb1:

Step Justification Aristotle&rsquos Text
1. (MaN) Next, if (M) belongs to every (N),
2. (MoX) but does not belong to some (X),
To prove: (NoX) then it is necessary for (N) not to belong to some (X)
3. (NaX) Contradictory of the desired conclusion For if it belongs to all,
4. (MaN) Repetition of premise 1 and (M) is predicated of every (N),
5. (MaX) (3, 4, Barbara) then it is necessary that (M) belongs to every (X).
6. (MoX) (5 is the contradictory of 2) But it was assumed not to belong to some.

5.3 Disproof: Counterexamples and Terms

Aristotle proves invalidity by constructing counterexamples. This is very much in the spirit of modern logical theory: all that it takes to show that a certain form is invalid is a single instance of that form with true premises and a false conclusion. However, Aristotle states his results not by saying that certain premise-conclusion combinations are invalid but by saying that certain premise pairs do not &ldquosyllogize&rdquo: that is, that, given the pair in question, examples can be constructed in which premises of that form are true and a conclusion of any of the four possible forms is false.

When possible, he does this by a clever and economical method: he gives two triplets of terms, one of which makes the premises true and a universal affirmative &ldquoconclusion&rdquo true, and the other of which makes the premises true and a universal negative &ldquoconclusion&rdquo true. The first is a counterexample for an argument with either an (E) or an (O) conclusion, and the second is a counterexample for an argument with either an (A) or an (I) conclusion.

5.4 The Deductions in the Figures (&ldquoMoods&rdquo)

In Prior Analytics I.4&ndash6, Aristotle shows that the premise combinations given in the following table yield deductions and that all other premise combinations fail to yield a deduction. In the terminology traditional since the middle ages, each of these combinations is known as a mood Latin modus, &ldquoway&rdquo, which in turn is a translation of Greek tropos). Aristotle, however, does not use this expression and instead refers to &ldquothe arguments in the figures&rdquo.

In this table, &ldquo(vdash)&rdquo separates premises from conclusion it may be read &ldquotherefore&rdquo. The second column lists the medieval mnemonic name associated with the inference (these are still widely used, and each is actually a mnemonic for Aristotle&rsquos proof of the mood in question). The third column briefly summarizes Aristotle&rsquos procedure for demonstrating the deduction.

Form Mnemonic Proof

FIRST FIGURE
(Aab, Abc vdash Aac) Barbara Perfect
(Eab, Abc vdash Eac) Celarent Perfect
(Aab, Ibc vdash Iac) Darii Perfect also by impossibility, from Camestres
(Eab, Ibc vdash Oac) Ferio Perfect also by impossibility, from Cesare

SECOND FIGURE
(Eab, Aac vdash Ebc) Cesare ((Eab, Aac) ightarrow (Eba, Aac)) (vdash_ Ebc)
(Aab, Eac vdash Ebc) Camestres ((Aab, Eac) ightarrow (Aab, Eca)= (Eca, Aab)) (vdash_ Ecb ightarrow Ebc)
(Eab, Iac vdash Obc) Festino ((Eab, Iac) ightarrow (Eba,Iac)) (vdash_ Obc)
(Aab, Oac vdash Obc) Baroco ((Aab, Oac +Abc) vdash_ (Aac,Oac)) (vdash_ Obc)

THIRD FIGURE
(Aac, Abc vdash Iab) Darapti ((Aac, Abc) ightarrow (Aac,Icb)) (vdash_ Iab)
(Eac, Abc vdash Oab) Felapton ((Eac, Abc) ightarrow (Eac,Icb)) (vdash_ Oab)
(Iac, Abc vdash Iab) Disamis ((Iac, Abc) ightarrow (Ica, Abc)=(Abc,Ica)) (vdash_ Iba ightarrow Iab)
(Aac, Ibc vdash Iab) Datisi ((Aac, Ibc) ightarrow (Aac,Icb)) (vdash_ Iab)
(Oac, Abc vdash Oab) Bocardo ((Oac, +Aab, Abc) vdash_ (Aac,Oac)) (vdash_ Oab)
(Eac, Ibc vdash Oab) Ferison ((Eac, Ibc) ightarrow (Eac, Icb)) (vdash_ Oab)

Table of the Deductions in the Figures

5.5 Metatheoretical Results

Having established which deductions in the figures are possible, Aristotle draws a number of metatheoretical conclusions, including:

  1. No deduction has two negative premises
  2. No deduction has two particular premises
  3. A deduction with an affirmative conclusion must have two affirmative premises
  4. A deduction with a negative conclusion must have one negative premise.
  5. A deduction with a universal conclusion must have two universal premises

He also proves the following metatheorem:

His proof of this is elegant. First, he shows that the two particular deductions of the first figure can be reduced, by proof through impossibility, to the universal deductions in the second figure:

(Darii) ((Aab, Ibc, +Eac)vdash_ (Ebc, Ibc)vdash_ Iac) (Ferio) ((Eab, Ibc, +Aac)vdash_ (Ebc, Ibc)vdash_ Oac)

He then observes that since he has already shown how to reduce all the particular deductions in the other figures except Baroco and Bocardo to Darii and Ferio, these deductions can thus be reduced to Barbara and Celarent. This proof is strikingly similar both in structure and in subject to modern proofs of the redundancy of axioms in a system.

Many more metatheoretical results, some of them quite sophisticated, are proved in Prior Analytics I.45 and in Prior Analytics II. As noted below, some of Aristotle&rsquos metatheoretical results are appealed to in the epistemological arguments of the Posterior Analytics.

5.6 Syllogisms with Modalities

Aristotle follows his treatment of &ldquoarguments in the figures&rdquo with a much longer, and much more problematic, discussion of what happens to these figured arguments when we add the qualifications &ldquonecessarily&rdquo and &ldquopossibly&rdquo to their premises in various ways. In contrast to the syllogistic itself (or, as commentators like to call it, the assertoric syllogistic), this modal syllogistic appears to be much less satisfactory and is certainly far more difficult to interpret. Here, I only outline Aristotle&rsquos treatment of this subject and note some of the principal points of interpretive controversy.

5.6.1 The Definitions of the Modalities

Modern modal logic treats necessity and possibility as interdefinable: &ldquonecessarily P&rdquo is equivalent to &ldquonot possibly not P&rdquo, and &ldquopossibly P&rdquo to &ldquonot necessarily not P&rdquo. Aristotle gives these same equivalences in On Interpretation. However, in Prior Analytics, he makes a distinction between two notions of possibility. On the first, which he takes as his preferred notion, &ldquopossibly P&rdquo is equivalent to &ldquonot necessarily P and not necessarily not P&rdquo. He then acknowledges an alternative definition of possibility according to the modern equivalence, but this plays only a secondary role in his system.

5.6.2 Aristotle&rsquos General Approach

Aristotle builds his treatment of modal syllogisms on his account of non-modal (assertoric) syllogisms: he works his way through the syllogisms he has already proved and considers the consequences of adding a modal qualification to one or both premises. Most often, then, the questions he explores have the form: &ldquoHere is an assertoric syllogism if I add these modal qualifications to the premises, then what modally qualified form of the conclusion (if any) follows?&rdquo. A premise can have one of three modalities: it can be necessary, possible, or assertoric. Aristotle works through the combinations of these in order:

  • Two necessary premises
  • One necessary and one assertoric premise
  • Two possible premises
  • One assertoric and one possible premise
  • One necessary and one possible premise

Though he generally considers only premise combinations which syllogize in their assertoric forms, he does sometimes extend this similarly, he sometimes considers conclusions in addition to those which would follow from purely assertoric premises.

Since this is his procedure, it is convenient to describe modal syllogisms in terms of the corresponding non-modal syllogism plus a triplet of letters indicating the modalities of premises and conclusion: (N) = &ldquonecessary&rdquo, (P) = &ldquopossible&rdquo, (A) = &ldquoassertoric&rdquo. Thus, &ldquoBarbara (NAN)&rdquo would mean &ldquoThe form Barbara with necessary major premise, assertoric minor premise, and necessary conclusion&rdquo. I use the letters &ldquo(N)&rdquo and &ldquo(P)&rdquo as prefixes for premises as well a premise with no prefix is assertoric. Thus, Barbara (NAN) would be (NAab, Abc vdash NAac).

5.6.3 Modal Conversions

As in the case of assertoric syllogisms, Aristotle makes use of conversion rules to prove validity. The conversion rules for necessary premises are exactly analogous to those for assertoric premises:

[egin NEab & ightarrow NEba NIab & ightarrow NIba NAab & ightarrow NIba end]

Possible premises behave differently, however. Since he defines &ldquopossible&rdquo as &ldquoneither necessary nor impossible&rdquo, it turns out that (x) is possibly (F) entails, and is entailed by, (x) is possibly not (F). Aristotle generalizes this to the case of categorical sentences as follows:

[egin PAab & ightarrow PEab PEab & ightarrow PAab PIab & ightarrow POab POab & ightarrow PIab end]

In addition, Aristotle uses the intermodal principle (N ightarrow A): that is, a necessary premise entails the corresponding assertoric one. However, because of his definition of possibility, the principle (A ightarrow P) does not generally hold: if it did, then (N ightarrow P) would hold, but on his definition &ldquonecessarily (P)&rdquo and &ldquopossibly (P)&rdquo are actually inconsistent (&ldquopossibly (P)&rdquo entails &ldquopossibly not (P)&rdquo).

This leads to a further complication. The denial of &ldquopossibly (P)&rdquo for Aristotle is &ldquoeither necessarily (P) or necessarily not (P)&rdquo. The denial of &ldquonecessarily (P)&rdquo is still more difficult to express in terms of a combination of modalities: &ldquoeither possibly (P) (and thus possibly not (P)) or necessarily not (P)&rdquo This is important because of Aristotle&rsquos proof procedures, which include proof through impossibility. If we give a proof through impossibility in which we assume a necessary premise, then the conclusion we ultimately establish is simply the denial of that necessary premise, not a &ldquopossible&rdquo conclusion in Aristotle&rsquos sense. Such propositions do occur in his system, but only in exactly this way, i.e., as conclusions established by proof through impossiblity from necessary assumptions. Somewhat confusingly, Aristotle calls such propositions &ldquopossible&rdquo but immediately adds &ldquo not in the sense defined&rdquo: in this sense, &ldquopossibly (Oab)&rdquo is simply the denial of &ldquonecessarily (Aab)&rdquo. Such propositions appear only as premises, never as conclusions.

5.6.4 Syllogisms with Necessary Premises

Aristotle holds that an assertoric syllogism remains valid if &ldquonecessarily&rdquo is added to its premises and its conclusion: the modal pattern (NNN) is always valid. He does not treat this as a trivial consequence but instead offers proofs in all but two cases, these are parallel to those offered for the assertoric case. The exceptions are Baroco and Bocardo, which he proved in the assertoric case through impossibility: attempting to use that method here would require him to take the denial of a necessary (O) proposition as hypothesis, raising the complication noted above, and he uses the procedure he calls ecthesis instead (see Smith 1982).

5.6.5 The Problem of the &ldquoTwo Barbaras&rdquo and Other Problems of Interpretation

Since a necessary premise entails an assertoric premise, every (AN) or (NA) combination of premises will entail the corresponding (AA) pair, and thus the corresponding (A) conclusion. Thus, (ANA) and (NAA) syllogisms are always valid. However, Aristotle holds that some, but not all, (ANN) and (NAN) combinations are valid. Specifically, he accepts Barbara (NAN) but rejects Barbara (ANN). Almost from Aristotle&rsquos own time, interpreters have found his reasons for this distinction obscure, or unpersuasive, or both, and often have not followed his view. His close associated Theophrastus, for instance, adopted the simpler rule that the modality of the conclusion of a syllogism was always the &ldquoweakest&rdquo modality found in either premise, where (N) is stronger than (A) and (A) is stronger than (P) (and where (P) probably has to be defined as &ldquonot necessarily not&rdquo).

Beginning with Albrecht Becker, interpreters using the methods of modern formal logic to interpret Aristotle&rsquos modal logic have seen the Two-Barbaras problem as only one of a series of difficulties in giving a coherent interpretation of the modal syllogistic. A very wide range of reconstructions has been proposed: see Becker 1933, McCall 1963, Nortmann 1996, Van Rijen 1989, Patterson 1995, Thomason 1993, Thom 1996, Rini 2012, Malink 2013. The majority of reconstructions do not attempt to reproduce every detail of Aristotle&rsquos exposition but instead produce modified reconstructions that abandon some of those results. Malink 2013, however, offers a reconstruction that reproduces everything Aristotle says, although the resulting model introduces a high degree of complexity. (This subject quickly becomes too complex for summarizing in this brief article.


Aristotle: A Little Background

Aristotle is one of the greatest thinkers in the history of western science and philosophy, making contributions to logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre. He was a student of Plato who in turn studied under Socrates. Although we do not actually possess any of Aristotle’s own writings intended for publication, we have volumes of the lecture notes he delivered for his students through these Aristotle was to exercise his profound influence through the ages. Indeed, the medieval outlook is sometimes considered to be the “Aristotelian worldview” and St. Thomas Aquinas simply refers to Aristotle as “The Philosopher” as though there were no other.

Aristotle was the first to classify areas of human knowledge into distinct disciplines such as mathematics, biology, and ethics. Some of these classifications are still used today, such as the species-genus system taught in biology classes. He was the first to devise a formal system for reasoning, whereby the validity of an argument is determined by its structure rather than its content. Consider the following syllogism: All men are mortal Socrates is a man therefore, Socrates is mortal. Here we can see that as long as the premises are true, the conclusion must also be true, no matter what we substitute for “men or “is mortal.” Aristotle’s brand of logic dominated this area of thought until the rise of modern symbolic logic in the late 19th Century.

Aristotle was the founder of the Lyceum, the first scientific institute, based in Athens, Greece. Along with his teacher Plato, he was one of the strongest advocates of a liberal arts education, which stresses the education of the whole person, including one’s moral character, rather than merely learning a set of skills. According to Aristotle, this view of education is necessary if we are to produce a society of happy as well as productive individuals.

Aristotle (right) and Plato in Raphael's fresco, 'The School of Athens', in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Happiness as the Ultimate Purpose of Human Existence

One of Aristotle’s most influential works is the Nicomachean Ethics, where he presents a theory of happiness that is still relevant today, over 2,300 years later. The key question Aristotle seeks to answer in these lectures is “What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?” What is that end or goal for which we should direct all of our activities? Everywhere we see people seeking pleasure, wealth, and a good reputation. But while each of these has some value, none of them can occupy the place of the chief good for which humanity should aim. To be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, “that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a30-34), and it must be attainable by man. Aristotle claims that nearly everyone would agree that happiness is the end which meets all these requirements. It is easy enough to see that we desire money, pleasure, and honor only because we believe that these goods will make us happy. It seems that all other goods are a means towards obtaining happiness, while happiness is always an end in itself.

The Greek word that usually gets translated as “happiness” is eudaimonia, and like most translations from ancient languages, this can be misleading. The main trouble is that happiness (especially in modern America) is often conceived of as a subjective state of mind, as when one says one is happy when one is enjoying a cool beer on a hot day, or is out “having fun” with one’s friends. For Aristotle, however, happiness is a final end or goal that encompasses the totality of one’s life. It is not something that can be gained or lost in a few hours, like pleasurable sensations. It is more like the ultimate value of your life as lived up to this moment, measuring how well you have lived up to your full potential as a human being. For this reason, one cannot really make any pronouncements about whether one has lived a happy life until it is over, just as we would not say of a football game that it was a “great game” at halftime (indeed we know of many such games that turn out to be blowouts or duds). For the same reason we cannot say that children are happy, any more than we can say that an acorn is a tree, for the potential for a flourishing human life has not yet been realized. As Aristotle says, “for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a18)

Aristotle Explains The Hierarchical View of Nature

Thus Aristotle gives us his definition of happiness:​

…the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. ( Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a13)

The Pursuit of Happiness as the Exercise of Virtue

In this last quote we can see another important feature of Aristotle’s theory: the link between the concepts of happiness and virtue. Aristotle tells us that the most important factor in the effort to achieve happiness is to have a good moral character — what he calls “complete virtue.” But being virtuous is not a passive state: one must act in accordance with virtue. Nor is it enough to have a few virtues rather one must strive to possess all of them. As Aristotle writes,

He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life. (Nicomachean Ethics, 1101a10)

(Nicomachean Ethics, 1095b 20)

According to Aristotle, happiness consists in achieving, through the course of a whole lifetime, all the goods — health, wealth, knowledge, friends, etc. — that lead to the perfection of human nature and to the enrichment of human life. This requires us to make choices, some of which may be very difficult. Often the lesser good promises immediate pleasure and is more tempting, while the greater good is painful and requires some sort of sacrifice. For example, it may be easier and more enjoyable to spend the night watching television, but you know that you will be better off if you spend it researching for your term paper. Developing a good character requires a strong effort of will to do the right thing, even in difficult situations.

Another example is the taking of drugs, which is becoming more and more of a problem in our society today. For a fairly small price, one can immediately take one’s mind off of one’s troubles and experience deep euphoria by popping an oxycontin pill or snorting some cocaine. Yet, inevitably, this short-term pleasure will lead to longer term pain. A few hours later you may feel miserable and so need to take the drug again, which leads to a never-ending spiral of need and relief. Addiction inevitably drains your funds and provides a burden to your friends and family. All of those virtues — generosity, temperance, friendship, courage, etc. — that make up the good life appear to be conspicuously absent in a life of drug use.

Aristotle would be strongly critical of the culture of “instant gratification” which seems to predominate in our society today. In order to achieve the life of complete virtue, we need to make the right choices, and this involves keeping our eye on the future, on the ultimate result we want for our lives as a whole. We will not achieve happiness simply by enjoying the pleasures of the moment. Unfortunately, this is something most people are not able to overcome in themselves. As he laments, “the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts”. Later in the Ethics Aristotle draws attention to the concept of akrasia, or weakness of the will. In many cases the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure obscures one’s perception of what is truly good. Fortunately, this natural disposition is curable through training, which for Aristotle meant education and the constant aim to perfect virtue. As he puts it, a clumsy archer may indeed get better with practice, so long as he keeps aiming for the target.

Note also that it is not enough to think about doing the right thing, or even intend to do the right thing: we have to actually do it. Thus, it is one thing to think of writing the great American novel, another to actually write it. When we impose a form and order upon all those letters to actually produce a compelling story or essay, we are manifesting our rational potential, and the result of that is a sense of deep fulfillment. Or to take another example, when we exercise our citizenship by voting, we are manifesting our rational potential in yet another way, by taking responsibility for our community. There are myriad ways in which we can exercise our latent virtue in this way, and it would seem that the fullest attainment of human happiness would be one which brought all these ways together in a comprehensive rational life-plan.

There is yet another activity few people engage in which is required to live a truly happy life, according to Aristotle: intellectual contemplation. Since our nature is to be rational, the ultimate perfection of our natures is rational reflection. This means having an intellectual curiosity which perpetuates that natural wonder to know which begins in childhood but seems to be stamped out soon thereafter. For Aristotle, education should be about the cultivation of character, and this involves a practical and a theoretical component. The practical component is the acquisition of a moral character, as discussed above. The theoretical component is the making of a philosopher. Here there is no tangible reward, but the critical questioning of things raises our minds above the realm of nature and closer to the abode of the gods.


A Man Who Needs No Introduction

After Chasing Faith was posted, some time after, the first general feedback I saw on it was from a reader that didn’t much like it because there was no real introduction to the story’s events or the characters. It seems easy to wave it off as “Ah yes but starting it from the middle was the point” but that feels easy. It was absolutely my intention to start without an introduction, but if it didn’t suit the story… so what if it was my intention?

Stories are kind of hard to analyze in a meaningful way. I’m amazed I’ve been able to talk out of my ass for this many blog posts as it is. Because a story only means whatever the viewer gleans from it, there’s no real universal or objective way to qualify them. Hell, until recently I liked the ‘grammatically incorrect’ strategy of ending dialogue with periods instead of commas all the time. I rarely ever caught flack for that, even though grammatically, it was incorrect.

So, with that in mind, even though it was my intent to start Chasing Faith from the middle as opposed to the beginning, does it still make a story better? What even is ‘better’ here? More universally enjoyable? Or more enjoyable to specific people I want to pander to? I don’t really have an answer. I think a big part of this was just me wanting to try something new, as usual. To my knowledge, this is my first sex story I just start in the middle without giving the backstory.

I love stories that leave a lot to the imagination, but at least in my erotica, I’ve kind of sucked at it. I have a bit of an exposition problem where I feel the need to blatantly tell the reader the backstory to what is going on, sometimes transparently through a character telling the main character their own backstory or something. This time around, I really wanted to present the reader with a world through the eyes of people who already knew this world, and thus, didn’t need to provide the backstory. If I wrote it right, I reasoned to myself, people wouldn’t ask to hear about that backstory.

Sadly, it appears I have a bit to learn, and I need to practice more subtle storytelling so that I can start stories at any point other than the beginning and still have readers enjoy it. I’m unsure if any story I put out anytime soon will employ this, but it’s still a tool I need to sharpen a bit more. If it hindered your ability to enjoy Chasing Faith, my apologies, I’ll continue to work at it. I’ll talk to you all next week.


Crispus Attucks Needs No Introduction. Or Does He?

The African American Patriot, who died in the Boston Massacre, was erased from visual history. Black abolitionists revived his memory.

In a melee on March 5, 1770, later called the Boston Massacre, British soldiers killed five Patriots. One was a man named Crispus Attucks, whom many consider the first casualty of the American Revolution. It’s now believed that Attucks was of African and Native American ancestry, and probably freed himself from slavery in Framingham, Massachusetts, around 1750. In the years after his self-emancipation, Attucks worked on the docks and whaling ships.

The future president John Adams, in defending the Redcoats in court, called the Bostonians involved “a motley rabble of saucy boys, negros and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish Jack Tars.” Attucks was the ringleader of the mob, Adams said the dockworker apparently fit several of those disparaging categories.

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American studies scholar Karsten Fitz traces Attucks’s posthumous career in images of the Boston Massacre. None other than Paul Revere engraved the first widely circulated picture of the event, The Bloody Massacre, perpetrated in King-Street, Boston, on March 5th, 1770, published three weeks after the skirmish (featured image, above). Fitz calls this famous image “one of the most striking distortions in the record of the visual narratives of the American Revolution.”

Revere’s engraving should not be taken so much as historical record as propaganda for the Patriot cause, writes Fitz: Revere portrays Redcoats firing on gentlemen Patriots at point-blank range. (In reality, the Bostonians were armed, albeit with sticks, rocks, and snowballs, and by all accounts were moving aggressively toward the soldiers.) Depending on the version of the print, a head in the lower left may be Crispus Attucks. But in many existing copies, this figure isn’t portrayed as African American. Nonetheless, this is the image that has “become part of the storehouse of American cultural memory.”

Subsequent “visual narratives” also erased the participation of African Americans like Attucks from the Revolution. Fitz suggests that white Americans preferred images like this, so as not to connect “their national formative events . . . with the system of slavery[.]” A whitewashed Boston Massacre would “hide” slavery “from their commemoration of the founding of the nation.”

Figure 1: Crispus Attucks, the First Martyr of the American Revolution by William C. Nell via NYPL

Fitz argues that this iconic “mother image” was the beginning of a process: “the erasure, the marginalization, and the re-emergence of the black presence” in representations of the Revolution. Indeed, it took eighty-five years for Attucks to be portrayed as the leader of the Bostonians, as Adams said he was. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a black abolitionist was the first to do it: in 1855, William C. Nell presented “Crispus Attucks, the First Martyr of the American Revolution” in his The Coloured Patriots of the American Revolution (fig. 1). Nell places the dying Attucks front and center, being held in the arms of a white compatriot in the manner of popular “dying general” paintings of the day.

Figure 2: Boston Massacre by William L. Champney via Wikimedia Commons

William L. Champney (“of whom next to nothing is known,” according to Fitz) also centered Attucks in his 1856 print “Boston Massacre” (fig. 2). But neither Nell’s nor Champney’s works had anywhere near the distribution of Alonzo Chappel’s “Boston Massacre” (1857, fig. 3), which reverted back to the Revere style: there is a black man in the crowd, but he’s obscured, not the leader, nor the first martyr.

Figure 3: Boston Massacre by Alonzo Chappel via Wikimedia Commons

“American art in the middle decades of the nineteenth century was consciously designed to influence and elevate the national character,” writes Fitz. Images of the massacre in the 1850s were conflicted about Attucks, who became a symbol for the abolitionist movement. There was, after all, no better representative of freedom than a former slave who died for the cause.


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