Tag Archives: Philosophy

ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book XII]

In Book XII of his Metaphysics, Aristotle presents his case for the unmoved mover. This argument has been hijacked by later religions to argue for the existence of their gods, but Aristotle’s argument does not deny or affirm the existence of gods who care about human affairs. Aristotle’s unmoved mover is entirely indifferent to everything but its own existence and activity, which is the contemplation of its own contemplation. Continue reading ARISTOTLE: Metaphysics [Book XII]

PLATO: Laws [Book X]

In Book X of Plato’s Laws, Plato tries to demonstrate the existence of the gods. His argument is complex and ambiguous. My interpretation of his argument is the following: 1) there are things in motion, 2) matter can move other matter, but it cannot move itself, 3) the soul can move itself and matter, 4) because matter is in motion, a soul must have moved it, 5) a soul capable of moving and arranging the heavens is a god. Continue reading PLATO: Laws [Book X]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book VI]

In Book VI of Homer’s Odyssey, Minerva devises a plan to help Odysseus leave the island on which he is now stranded. In a dream, the goddess appears to Nausicaa, the daughter of the island’s King, and urges her to clean her linen in the river the following morning. Nausicaa awakens the following morning, and heeds the goddess’ commands. Along with several of her handmaidens, she travels to the river where she cleans her garments. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book VI]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book V]

In Book V of Homer’s Odyssey, Jove sends Mercury to the island of the goddess Calypso, where Odysseus is being detained. Mercury commands Calypso to release Odysseus. She obeys and provides Odysseus an axe, which he uses to hew down trees and construct a raft. When the raft is complete, Odysseus departs from the island. During his sea-voyage, Neptune sends a terrible storm that destroys the raft and nearly drowns Odysseus. By the aid of the sea nymph Ino and the goddess Minerva, Odysseus swims to the nearby country of Phaeacia, where he gratefully falls asleep between two olive trees. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book V]

TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book I-VIII]

Russian author Leo Tolstoy published his novel, War and Peace, in 1869. The novel depicts the lives of several Russian nobles during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in the early 1800s. The title, War and Peace, symbolizes the war and peace among nations, among individuals within one society, and among different desires within an individual. Continue reading TOLSTOY: War and Peace [Book I-VIII]

PLATO: The Republic [Book X]

In Book X of Plato’s Republic, Socrates banishes all artists from his ideal State. He argues that the creations of art are farthest removed from truth; and therefore, art turns the mind of the spectator away from truth and toward the realm of becoming. For example, there are several instances of tables in the world, but only one idea of a table. A table-maker can make a table, but he cannot make the idea of a table. Even farther removed from the true idea of a table than the table of a table-maker is the painting of a table. “Tables, then, are of three kinds, and there are three artists who superintend them: God, the maker of the table, and the painter.” Continue reading PLATO: The Republic [Book X]