Analecto

15 de fevereiro de 2019

What I learned reading “Ménon”.

Filed under: Livros — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 17:07

Ménon” was written by Plato. Below, what I learned from reading this book.

  1. How do we acquire virtue?
  2. It is not possible to define virtue by making a list of available virtues: a list of examples doesn’t equal concept.
  3. For example, if there is one virtue for men and another for women, are they different?
  4. Health is the same in all, because each individual health shares common characteristics.
  5. Justice is a virtue, not simply “virtue”: courage and temperance, for example, are also virtues.
  6. We can not say what a figure is by saying that it is “square” or “circle,” nor can define color by saying that it is “white” or “blue”.
  7. Socrates tries to define shape as “the stuff that has color in it”, but no one has yet explained what color is, which makes such definition imprecise.
  8. Do you know what is “end”, “limit”, “solid” and “surface”?
  9. We all seek what we think is good ; if we seek something harmful, that’s only because we ignore the fact that the goal is actually harmful .
  10. Virtue, then, seems to be not in the will to have good things, but in the ability to achieve them.
  11. But virtue isn’t ability to achieve either: it is possible to achieve good things unjustly .
  12. If justice is a virtue, definiting virtue as “the ability to achieve goals in a justly manner” is imprecise.
  13. How can we look for something without knowing what we are looking for?
  14. Aporia is necessary : it makes a person realize his own ignorance.
  15. Everyone seems to have latent knowledge that can be invoked through questioning.
  16. If virtue is science, it can be taught.
  17. Anything that is scientifically conducted leads to good.
  18. If virtue is teachable, how come there are no “teachers of virtue” or people wanting to learn virtue?
  19. The person who teaches something often doesn’t practice the thing they teach.
  20. Sophists do not teach virtue.
  21. If the virtuous man could teach virtue, he would open a school of virtue!
  22. If there were virtue teachers, they would come to a consensus about whether virtue is or is not teachable.
  23. Even those who claim that virtue can be taught are confused when speaking of virtue itself.
  24. Virtue is not science.
  25. True opinion produces no inferior result to science.
  26. It is through mathematics that correct opinions become science and therefore stable.
  27. If the person can become virtuous by learning, then virtue is not innate.
  28. The definition of virtue is inconclusive.

27 de outubro de 2018

What I learned reading “Phaedrus.”

Filed under: Livros, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, — Yurinho @ 12:55

“Phaedrus” was written by Plato. Below I tell what I learned from reading his book.

  1. Knowing oneself should be the beginning of knowledge.
  2. You should never accept conditional love or sex (that is, love or sex in exchange of a favor or belonging).
  3. Advantages and favors should be granted to those who deserve them.
  4. Those who love without being carried away by blind emotion do so responsibly.
  5. Those who love irrationally say things that they later regret .
  6. Lovers sometimes recognize that they are irresponsible, but at the same time, they are not able to correct themselves.
  7. Irrational love fosters envy and jealousy, drives away friends and eventually ruins the relationship.
  8. The beloved person needs to have friends as well.
  9. If you really love someone, you will forgive their small faults.
  10. Passion and friendship are two manifestations of love.
  11. Who should we make friends with?
  12. When reason dominates harmful desires, that person has the virtue of temperance.
  13. Intemperance has different names depending on the desire that submits the person.
  14. The irrational lover wants a weak person to love: if the beloved is superior or equal, the irrational lover will be frustrated, because he wants pleasure at that moment, which could only be obtained if the partner was inferior to him.
  15. The irrational lover works for the degeneration of the beloved’s physical ability and wisdom, to keep him under control.
  16. The irrational lover wants the beloved also to be poor, to keep him dependent.
  17. An irrational lover wants the beloved to remain miserable, so he can be treated like a belonging.
  18. Irrational lovers are prone to cheating.
  19. Don’t trust a lover’s promises, as he might be making promises on emotion.
  20. Irrational love is an appetite and, as such, vanishes when satisfied.
  21. Religion seems to come from divine inspiration.
  22. Madness also produces music and poetry.
  23. A chain of causes can not regress infinitely.
  24. Myth of the car guided by two winged horses: reason wants to bring us to certainties and truth, but emotions draw us to earthly problems that hinder the search for eternal things.
  25. The philosopher, when he contemplates the truth, is regarded as mad by others, but is only misunderstood.
  26. The contemplation of the beautiful is part of the process of elevating the soul.
  27. The true lover does not want the impoverishment of the beloved, but his improvement.
  28. Reason and emotion are necessary to love.
  29. Speech that is not praised is also not transcribed.
  30.   Rhetoricians do not speak of what is good, beautiful, fair, or useful, but of what appears to be one or more of these things.
  31. The rhetorician, knowing the opinions but not the truth, plays with opinions so that the listener is led to think as he wishes.
  32. The technical arts deal with real things, but the rhetoric that is not committed to the truth is not technical art, because it deals with fictions.
  33. But rhetoric, if it’s commited with truth, could make a person accept something real more easily.
  34. Rhetoric can disfigure the object of it’s speech.
  35. It deals with contradictions.
  36. Rhetoric has more power when it comes to uncertain and dubious matters, by taking advantage of the listener’s ignorance and the abundance of opinion in a given subject.
  37. A rhetorical trick: do not explain the meaning of the terms used in the speech.
  38. The rhetorician has no power over those who understand the subject they are dealing with.
  39. To be a perfect speaker, the individual needs to have a natural inclination, to study and to practice the oratory.
  40. The perfect oratory has constructive potential over the listener.
  41. Anyone who talks about something is supposed to be able to describe the nature of said thing.
  42. We need to define the object we are talking about.
  43. Good rhetoric should be able not only to say what rhetoric is, but also what soul is, because rhetoric acts upon the soul of the listener.
  44. Because there are different kinds of idiot people, we need different types of speech.
  45. There’s a different kind of argument for each person.
  46. Rhetoric deals with the verisimilitude, not necessarily with the truth.
  47. If the rhetorician wants to convince, he turns to the convincing argument, not necessarily to the true (though the truth may be accessory).
  48. This is especially evident when accuser and accused strive to hide the truth about the case.
  49. Knowing the truth allows you to use more convincing probabilities.
  50. The book is limited by the reader’s understanding.
  51. Dialectically written discourses have an extended limit.
  52. Complex souls require complex writing.
  53. It is necessary to know what is being discussed.
  54. The best written discourse is one written for the use of the writer himself, as a means of later consultation, with its effectiveness being reduced if the reader is not the writer himself and diminishing the more distant the reader is of the writer.
  55. If you are sure that you have the truth and are able to defend it, you are already a philosopher.
  56. Friends should have everything in common.

28 de setembro de 2018

What I learned by reading the “Phaedo”.

Filed under: Livros — Tags:, , — Yurinho @ 21:16

“Phaedo” was written by Plato. Here are some things I learned from reading his book.

  1. The book tells of Socrates’ speech before his death.
  2. After Socrates’ trial, he was imprisoned for a few more days before finally taking the poison.
  3. Many people watched Socrates die …
  4. Socrates died happy.
  5. Some of those present were also happy, others were sad, but most did not know what to feel.
  6. Pleasure and pain follow each other, like a pendulum.
  7. If our life belongs to God, we have no right to take our own lives.
  8. It is good not to accept others’ opinions so easily.
  9. People who practice philosophy tend to care less about the body and more about the soul.
  10. Our senses are limited so we can not give them full credit.
  11. Truth is attainable by thought, not by body.
  12. The body provides pain, which harms our ability to reason.
  13. Beauty, justice, goodness are things that can not be seen or heard and can only be studied by thought, not through the senses.
  14. You are too attached to your body, if you are too scared of death.
  15. Some people who claim to be “virtuous” are just sacrificing some pleasures in favor of other pleasures that are indulged in private, vices that could be more vicious than those that are openly avoided.
  16. The senses get close to the truth, but can’t touch truth.
  17. To forget is to lose knowledge.
  18. We are body and thought.
  19. Philosophy teaches how to refuse satisfaction to bodily appetites, when such is needed.
  20. Socrates had full faith in his words: he was convinced that death would not harm him.
  21. Hatred for words and hatred for mankind, both come from the same place: disappointment.
  22. Most people are a middle ground between good and bad.
  23. Extremes are rare.
  24. When encountering arguments that are opposed to yours, may you feel tempted to become skeptical of all answers, as you may realize that no answer is 100% accurate.
  25. Seek the truth for yourself and share, but don’t expect everyone to agree with you.
  26. Convincing others is a consequence, but should never be the goal of rational thought.
  27. Anaxagoras said that the mind or intelligence commanded all things, but when it comes to explaining the things of our world, he never resorts on that concept of intelligence, preferring to explain phenomena using natural causes.
  28. I’m sitting because I want to.
  29. The famous “navigations”: the first itinerary consists in seeking to know things sensually and the second consists in using only the reason.
  30. What makes beautiful things beautiful is the presence of a quality called “beauty”: to say why something is beautiful, we must define what beauty is in itself.
  31. Socrates accepted the spherical model of the Earth, although he thought it was in the middle of the universe.

9 de fevereiro de 2018

Plato’s “Crito”.

Filed under: Livros, Passatempos — Tags:, , , — Yurinho @ 17:23
  1. One can say that you really are a happy person when they see you calm even when a disaster happens.
  2. If death is unavoidable, you can only accept it.
  3. People hate people those who care more for their money than for their friends.
  4. Still, you don’t have to care about what people think of you anyway.
  5. Spreading lies about someone can cause their indirect death.
  6. If the people could really operate great evils, they were supposed to also be capable of great good deeds (but they are not).
  7. Most people lack critical thinking, seemingly operating with randomness.
  8. Sometimes it’s cheap to buy a judge.
  9. Don’t have children, unless you are capable of suffering with them.
  10. If someone has an opinion about you, don’t accept it unless you are sure that you should accept.
  11. Socrates accepted his sentence because he was being faithful to his principles, it was a matter of integrity.
  12. Don’t accept suggestions from those who don’t know better.
  13. If you accept those, you may ruin yourself or die.
  14. Being alive isn’t enough, if you don’t live well.
  15. If you don’t do anything without considering what others would think, one can wonder how your actions amount to.
  16. If acting unfairly is always wrong, then you should seek revenge from injustice by promoting injustice.
  17. You owe respect to the ruler of the nation you belong in.
  18. The law may submit you, but the law isn’t unchangeable and you should try to change them if you think they are unfair.
  19. If you dislike the laws in your place, move to another place.
  20. If you like your nation, you may want to improve it.

16 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Republic”.

“A República” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They may or may not reflect what I think about this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. The aging process kills youthful desires, which enslave the young men.
  2. Wisdom makes it tolerable to age.
  3. If you get you worked for your own money, you will feel how much it’s valuable.
  4. The fool, if very attached to material goods, feels despair when death is near, because he doesn’t know the future of his goods and his soul.
  5. Justice is not simply speaking the truth and giving someone what’s due…
  6. Is justice the virtue of caring for friends while harming enemies?
  7. If so, justice is useless in times of peace.
  8. We don’t always know who are our true friends.
  9. Justice implies caring for your enemies too.
  10. Justice is not the convenience of the strongest.
  11. Being strong doesn’t guarantee that your laws are going to be fair.
  12. A ruler doesn’t always know what is in the nation’s best interest.
  13. Ruling a nation means acting in the best interest of those who are under your hierarchy.
  14. Being unjust is profitable, but still wrong.
  15. Being unjust implies a degree of ignorance.
  16. You can’t practice justice if you are ignorant.
  17. Justice enables harmony, while being unjust causes chaos.
  18. An unjust person beings harm to themselves, as no one would trust them.
  19. If God is just, you better also be…
  20. If you are unjust, you can’t rule your own life with perfection, let alone rule the lives of others.
  21. Justice is more useful in a community level, rather than personal level.
  22. A person can not live completely alone.
  23. The differences between types of people make them more fit for certain roles.
  24. No city would be built if we didn’t need each other.
  25. The better a community is, the more allies it has.
  26. A community can only become interested in art, science or economy after the basic needs (water, food, shelter, health) are sorted out.
  27. Excess of resources makes the population ill, as it becomes easier to adopt unhealthy habits.
  28. In a community where the desire for futile stuff has become high, resources start to diminish too quickly, creating the need to take what already belongs to other communities.
  29. It would be ideal if each person had just one job, that could be executed expertly.
  30. Desire to learn already makes you philosopher.
  31. There’s good and bad literature, the bad literature being the one that has no contact with reality, that is, a literature that lies to the reader.
  32. Fiction counts as bad literature.
  33. A religion that teaches that gods can have wars between themselves ends up sanctioning violence between humans (“even gods fight”).
  34. Even if those stories had a hidden meaning, nothing can guarantee that a person wouldn’t get the meaning wrong.
  35. If a child learns something false, they won’t easily forget.
  36. If somehting bad happens, don’t blame the gods.
  37. A “real lie” is the one that exploits the listener’s ignorance.
  38. Overcoming the fear of death requires fiction writers to not write scary stuff about afterlife, that is, exercise a kind of censorship.
  39. Fiction appeals to emotion, harming the full exercise of reason.
  40. You can’t go to war if you aren’t ready to die.
  41. If you can live without someone, you don’t need to cry when that person dies.
  42. Laughter should also be avoided.
  43. The government can lie, but only if the lie is told on the population’s best interest.
  44. Fiction writers shouldn’t write bad things about gods or heroes, to not encourage bad behavior among normal humans who see gods and heroes as role models.
  45. There should have no sad music.
  46. There should have no calm music.
  47. There should have a list of allowed musical instruments and a list of banned musical techniques.
  48. Other artist should abide to those restrictions, not only writers and composers.
  49. Music has educational value too.
  50. Real love isn’t lust.
  51. It’s wise to improve your body as well as your mind.
  52. A warrior needs it’s own diet.
  53. A good diet is supposed to be simple.
  54. If there is a great demand for doctors it is because there are a lot of ill people.
  55. It’s shameful to need doctors to treat self-inflicted illnesses and injuries.
  56. A judge must be able to recognize an unjust act without acting against justice himself.
  57. Physical education has the role of keeping the body in shape, so that people wouldn’t need doctors so often.
  58. Physical education (gymnastics) must be practiced alongside music, as physical education alone could make a person turn “brute” and music alone could make the person too soft.
  59. A warrior needs to stay firm in what he believes.
  60. A warrior needs to live off state, rather than having own properties, so he can fully commit to his job.
  61. Community happiness comes first, personal happiness comes second.
  62. A person shouldn’t be wealthy to the point of not needing to have a role in society.
  63. Excess of wealth causes temptation to work less.
  64. You shouldn’t be filthy rich, but shouldn’t be dirt poor either.
  65. There should be no marriage.
  66. Four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, justice.
  67. Every ruler must be wise and moderated, while the ruled people must be courageous and moderated.
  68. Jobs come in four kinds: manufacturer, warrior, ruler and merchant.
  69. It’s just to exercise the work that you are most useful at, rather than exercising many jobs or hopping from one to another.
  70. Sciences are separated from each other due to intimate differences, which appear when humans start to focus on a different object.
  71. The soul is divided in three parts: reason, emotion and appetite.
  72. A person is just when reason dominates emotion, which dominates appetite.
  73. Women should receive the same education as men.
  74. No such thing as “man’s job” or “woman’s job”, but each person must pick the job they are most useful at.
  75. There are laws that go against nature.
  76. Nuclear family must be abolished.
  77. State must interfere in sexual relationships in order to guarantee that the next generation will be better than the previous.
  78. A person must deserve the right to reproduce based on how useful they are to the community.
  79. Children are raised by state.
  80. A woman should feed random children, rather than electing one (her own child).
  81. Age of consent: 20 for women, 30 for men.
  82. Procreation must be authorized by state first.
  83. Children see older people as “dad” and “mom”, even if they aren’t biologically so.
  84. Children should watch the war.
  85. Children, before going to watch the war, must be taught to flee.
  86. Soldiers who are taken captive shouldn’t be rescued.
  87. Science is a discourse about how things truly are, while opinion is a discourse about how things seem to be.
  88. The philosopher looks for stable knowledge, one that doesn’t change with time.
  89. If you love wisdom, you are likely virtuous.
  90. A philosopher isn’t afraid of dying.
  91. Because most people are dumb, philosophers are seldom heard, making them almost completely useless for state and public life.
  92. A philosopher who ends up preaching a stupid idea probably had a philosophical nature that was perverted by poor education.
  93. Philosophy is dangerous for status quo.
  94. The philosopher should rule the nation.
  95. If a group of philosophers takes control over the nation, it would still take some time for the new laws to appear.
  96. Laws shouldn’t be made in a rush.
  97. A ruler who is dumb or doesn’t love his people must be impeached.
  98. A ruler should be able to enjoy studying, or isn’t fit for the task.
  99. A philosopher must be both wise and healthy.
  100. If something isn’t good, we wouldn’t want it, unless we mistook it for good.
  101. “Good” and “pleasant” aren’t the same, although they can overlap in a same object.
  102. You can find pleasure in doing something bad.
  103. If you can speak about what other people think, you are supposed to be able to speak about what you think as well.
  104. Science and truth are siblings.
  105. You can put your thoughts in a scale of clarity, from most obscure to clearest: I suppose (most obscrure), I believe, I understand, I know (clearest).
  106. Appearance is misleading, so you can’t judge an object from it’s appearance.
  107. Practicing science can be confusing, to the point of causing a person to regret practicing it.
  108. The wise feels pity on the ignorant.
  109. The wise man may behave pathetically in public life.
  110. Nevertheless, the wise man should not isolate himself from others.
  111. Education is to turn the student’s soul towards truth, rather than opinion.
  112. A philospher must worry about the others as well, not only about himself.
  113. The philosopher must use opinions as pedagogical resource.
  114. Everyone should know math, even soldiers.
  115. If you want to reach the truth, you can’t do so without calculation.
  116. Math should be taught in school as mandatory class.
  117. Geometry can completely change the way you analyze things.
  118. Astronomy can also be useful for everyone.
  119. Imperfect study shouldn’t be encouraged.Calculus, geometry, astronomy and dialetics are responsible for turning a person away from opinion and towards the truth.
  120. You can not learn dialetics without learning mathematics first.
  121. Exact sciences are universally valid.
  122. Philosophy’s bad reputation comes from those who practice it without being prepared or without having talent, that is, people who are bad at it.
  123. Children should learn math by playing games, as it’s easier for them to remember what they learned with pleasure.
  124. Learning dialetics at an young age can make a person turn rebellious, because the youth will notice that many things he used to believe are incorrect, causing hatred towards society.
  125. Dialetics can only be taught to people with a stable mind.
  126. Women can rule the state, if they are fit for the job.
  127. No human government lasts forever.
  128. An oligarchy is a form of government exercised only by rich people, who use the poor as resource poll.
  129. Wealth and virtue generally go into different directions.
  130. The problem with oligarchy is that rich people are often terrible rulers.
  131. Plus, poor people and wealthy people sometimes conspirate against each other.
  132. Oligarchs sell public goods, empoverish their territories and attract bad reputation.
  133. A state with too many poor people is a state with too many crimes, both perpretated by poor and wealthy people.
  134. An ignorant person prefers money over dignity.
  135. People’s rebellion can turn an oligarchy into a democracy.
  136. The election of better qualified people can turn a democracy into an aristocracy.
  137. Democracies highly regard freedom.
  138. A tyrant needs to ensure that people will need him.
  139. A tyrant needs war.
  140. A tyrant’s need for war makes him hated by his people.
  141. A tyrant needs to kill those who oppose to him.
  142. To control his own territory, a tyrant may need help from other nations.
  143. A tyrant uses public wealth to reinforce his army, thus defending himself.
  144. Everyone has wild, irrational desires.
  145. We often dream about them.
  146. A tyrant is defenseless without servants.
  147. Some people think that something is only worth being done if it brings them money.
  148. Under a philosopher’s guidance, people can better conduct their ambition and desire for money.
  149. Impulse and desire must be moderated, but never eliminated.
  150. Money and power can’t compensate a soul’s decadence.
  151. Beautiful lies can destroy a person’s intelligence.
  152. An artisan makes physical objects using a mental model as base.
  153. If someone seems to know everything, they are lying.
  154. Fiction is a lie and should be treated as such, that is, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
  155. Falsifications are a toy or a game; believing something false as if it was true is silly.
  156. Reason should moderate suffering.
  157. Emotion is what makes us feel despair.
  158. Emotion harms the free use of reason.
  159. Suffering excessively isn’t masculine.
  160. The more you laugh, the harder it will be to contain your laughter next time you see something funny.
  161. The body can only die from age, illness or physical damage.

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