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All the ideas for 'Difference and Repetition', 'Politics' and 'Two Problems for Essentialism'

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55 ideas

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Free and great-souled men do not keep asking "what is the use of it?" [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: To be constantly asking 'what is the use of it?' is unbecoming to those of great soul, and unworthy of free men
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1338b01)
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 1. Continental Philosophy
'Difference' refers to that which eludes capture [Deleuze, by May]
     Full Idea: 'Difference' is a term which Deleuze uses to refer to that which eludes capture.
     From: report of Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition [1968]) by Todd May - Gilles Deleuze 3.03
     A reaction: Presumably its ancestor is Kant's noumenon. This is one of his concepts used to 'palpate' our ossified conceptual scheme.
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 2. Logos
Human beings, alone of the animals, have logos [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Human beings, alone of the animals, have logos.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253a09)
     A reaction: This may be a grand claim that we are the only animals that can think rationally, or a more obvious observation that we are the only ones that talk. Aristotle was well aware that logos is a very resonant word.
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
Reasoning distinguishes what is beneficial, and hence what is right [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Logos is for the purpose of clarifying the beneficial and the harmful and as a result the right and the wrong.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253a12)
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
Intelligence which looks ahead is a natural master, while bodily strength is a natural slave [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The element that can use its intelligence to look ahead is by nature ruler and master, while that which has the bodily strength to do the actual work is by nature a slave.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1252a30)
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
'Being' is univocal, but its subject matter is actually 'difference' [Deleuze]
     Full Idea: Being is said in a single and same sense of everything of which it is said, but that of which it is said differs: it is said of difference itself.
     From: Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition [1968], p.36), quoted by Todd May - Gilles Deleuze 3.03
     A reaction: This is an attempt to express the Heraclitean view of reality, as process, movement, multiplicity - something which always eludes our attempts to pin it down.
Ontology can be continual creation, not to know being, but to probe the unknowable [Deleuze]
     Full Idea: Ontology can be an ontology of difference ....where what is there is not the same old things but a process of continual creation, an ontology that does not seek to reduce being to the knowable, but widens thought to palpate the unknowable.
     From: Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition [1968]), quoted by Todd May - Gilles Deleuze 5.05
     A reaction: I'm inclined to think that the first duty of ontology is to face up to the knowable. I'm not sure that probing the unknowable, with no success or prospect of it, is a good way to spend a life. Probing ('palpating') can sometimes discover things.
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / i. Deflating being
Ontology does not tell what there is; it is just a strange adventure [Deleuze, by May]
     Full Idea: In Deleuze's hands ontology is not a matter of telling us what there is, but of taking us on strange adventures.
     From: report of Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition [1968]) by Todd May - Gilles Deleuze 3.03
     A reaction: Presumably you only indulge in the strange adventure because you have no idea how to specify what there is. This sounds like the essence of post-modernism, in which life is just a game.
Being is a problem to be engaged, not solved, and needs a new mode of thinking [Deleuze, by May]
     Full Idea: In Deleuze, Being is not a puzzle to be solved but a problem to be engaged. It is to be engaged by a thought that moves as comfortably among problems as it does among solutions, as fluidly among differences as it does among identities.
     From: report of Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition [1968]) by Todd May - Gilles Deleuze 4.01
     A reaction: This sounds like what I've always known as 'negative capability' (thanks to Keats). Is philosophy just a hobby, like playing darts? It seems that the aim of the process is 'liberation', about which I would like to know more.
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 5. Natural Beauty
Nothing contrary to nature is beautiful [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Nothing that is contrary to nature is fine.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1325b09)
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 5. Objectivism in Art
The collective judgement of many people on art is better than that of an individual [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The many are the best judges of poetry and music; some judge some parts, some judge others, but their collective judgement is a verdict on all the parts.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1281b08)
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / g. Self interest
Selfishness is wrong not because it is self-love, but because it is excessive [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Selfishness is condemned, and justly, but selfishness is not simply to be fond of oneself, but to be excessively fond.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1263b03)
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
Some say slavery is unnatural and created by convention, and is therefore forced, and unjust [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Some say the distinction between slave and free is one of convention only, and in nature there is no difference, so that this form of rule is based on force and is therefore not just.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253b20)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
People become good because of nature, habit and reason [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Men become sound and good because of three things: these are nature, habit and reason.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1332a38)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
Music can mould the character to be virtuous (just as gymnastics trains the body) [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: We must regard music as a stimulus to virtue, capable of making a certain kind of character (just as gymnastic training produces a body of a certain type).
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1339a20)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / f. The Mean
The law is the mean [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The law is the mean.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1287b04)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
It is quite possible to live a moderate life and yet be miserable [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is quite possible to live a moderate life and yet be miserable.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1265a32)
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / d. Friendship
Master and slave can have friendship through common interests [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: There is an interest in common and a feeling of friendship between master and slave, wherever they are fitted for this relationship.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1255b12)
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion
Abortions should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: If an unwanted child is conceived, abortion should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1335b24)
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
Man is by nature a political animal [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Man is by nature a political animal.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253a01)
People want to live together, even when they don't want mutual help [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Men have a desire for live together, even when they have no need to seek each other's help.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1278b20)
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / c. A unified people
A community must share a common view of good and justice [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is sharing a common view in good and evil, justice and injustice, that makes a household and a state.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253a17)
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
Every state is an association formed for some good purpose [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Observation tells us that every state is an association; and that every state is formed with a view to some good purpose.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1252a01)
The state exists not for community, but for noble actions [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1281a02)
Aristotle says the state is natural, not conventional or contractual [Aristotle, by Annas]
     Full Idea: The state, according to Aristotle, 'exists by nature'. It does not owe its existence to convention, as some have claimed, and is not the product of a 'social contract'
     From: report of Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], I.2) by Julia Annas - The Morality of Happiness Ch.4
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1295b25)
25. Society / B. The State / 3. Constitutions
We must decide the most desirable human life before designing a constitution [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: If we wish to investigate the best constitution appropriately, we must first decide what is the most desirable life.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1323a14)
The six constitutions are monarchy/tyranny, aristocracy/oligarchy, and polity/democracy [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The names for right constitutions (with their deviations) are monarchy (tyranny), aristocracy (oligarchy), and polity (democracy).
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1279b04)
Any constitution can be made to last for a day or two [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Any constitution can be made to last for a day or two.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1319b35)
25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship
The virtues of a good citizen are relative to a particular constitution [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The virtue of the citizen must be in relation to the constitution; and as there are many constitutions, there cannot be just one single and perfect virtue of the sound citizen.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1276b28)
     A reaction: This is very striking support for the view that Aristotle's account of the virtues in 'Ethics' is merely a description of conventions (Athenian, presumably), rather than an appeal to nature. However, see his account of the soul, and human function.
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / d. Elites
The only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: The only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1277b27)
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
The whole state should pay for the worship of the gods [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Another thing that should be a common charge on the whole state is the worship of the gods
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1330a08)
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 1. Social Justice
The good is obviously justice, which benefits the whole community, and involves equality in some sense [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: In a state the good aimed at is justice; and that means what is for the benefit of the whole community; and all men believe that justice means equality in some sense.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1282b17)
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / a. Slavery
Natural slaves are those naturally belonging to another, or who can manage no more than labouring [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: A human being who belongs, by nature, not to himself but to another is, by nature, a slave. ...Those whose function happens to be the use of their bodies (when this is the best that can be achieved) are slaves by nature.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1254a09-), quoted by Armand Marie LeRoi - The Lagoon: how Aristotle invented science 099
     A reaction: A nice example of Aristotle trying to derive what ought to be from the 'nature' of each thing. Clearly, though, this was not the best that can be achieved. And why are labourers slaves, but not computer programmers or economists?
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
One principle of liberty is to take turns ruling and being ruled [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: One principle of liberty is for all to rule and to be ruled in turn.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 6.2), quoted by David van Reybrouck - Against Elections 3 'procedure'
     A reaction: [need the exact reference] This is a lovely challenge to our modern idea of liberty, which largely consists of being left alone.
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality
It is always the weak who want justice and equality, not the strong [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is always the weaker who go in search of justice and equality; the strong reck nothing of them.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1318b05)
Treat equal people equally, and unequal people unequally [Aristotle, by Tuckness/Wolf]
     Full Idea: Aristotle's principle of proportional equality says treat equals equally and treat unequals unequally.
     From: report of Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE]) by Tuckness,A/Wolf,C - This is Political Philosophy 3 'Baseline'
     A reaction: [original ref?] This can only be assessed by considering the ways in which people are or are not equal. Equal respect should, I believe, apply to absolutely everything (even the inanimate). I can't think how this dictum should ever be applied.
We can claim an equal right to aristocratic virtue, as well as to wealth or freedom [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Virtue is the definitive principle of aristocracy, as wealth is of oligarchy, and freedom of democracy. …each of these is grounds for claiming equality.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1294a11)
Equality is obviously there to help people who do not get priority in the constitution [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: In an oligarchy or a democracy it pays to give equality, or even preference, to those who participate in the constitution less, to the rich in a democracy, to the poor in an oligarchy.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1309a27)
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Phaleas proposed equality of property, provided there is equality of education [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Phaleas of Chalcedon was the first to propose that the property of the citizens should be equal. … but there should also be equality of education.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1266a38)
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Legal Rights / a. Basis of rights
Law is intelligence without appetite [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Law is intelligence without appetite.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1287a31)
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Like water, large numbers of people are harder to corrupt than a few [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: As a larger amount of water is less easily polluted, so the multitude is less easily corrupted than the few.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1286a30)
The many may add up to something good, even if they are inferior as individuals [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is possible that the many, not one of whom taken singly is a sound man, may yet, taken all together, be better than the few, not individually but collectively.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1281b01)
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
It is wrong that a worthy officer of state should seek the office [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is all wrong that a person who is going to be deemed worthy of an office should solicit it.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1271a10)
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / a. Legal system
Man is the worst of all animals when divorced from law and justice [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Man is the worst of all animals when divorced from law and justice.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1253a31)
If it is easy to change the laws, that makes them weaker [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Easy change from established laws to new laws means weakening the power of the law.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1269a23)
It is preferable that law should rule rather than any single citizen [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: It is preferable that law should rule rather than any single citizen.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1287a19)
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / b. Aims of education
The aim of serious childhood play is the amusement of the complete adult [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: One might perhaps suppose that serious activity in childhood may have for its aim the amusement of the complete and adult man.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1339a30)
A state is plural, and needs education to make it a community [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: A state is a plurality which must depend on education to bring about its common unity.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1263b33)
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / c. Teaching
Men learn partly by habit, and partly by listening [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Men learn partly by habituation and partly by listening.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1332b10)
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / a. Final purpose
If nature makes everything for a purpose, then plants and animals must have been made for man [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: If nature makes nothing without some end in view, nothing to no purpose, it must be that nature has made plants and animals for the sake of man.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1256b20)
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / b. Limited purposes
The best instruments have one purpose, not many [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Every instrument will be made best if it serves not many purposes but one.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1252b03)
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
How can essences generate the right powers to vary with distance between objects? [Armstrong]
     Full Idea: In Newtonian physics the distance between two objects determines the attractive forces between them, but then the objects will have to be sensitive to the distance, in order to 'know' what forces to generate; but distance isn't a causal power.
     From: David M. Armstrong (Two Problems for Essentialism [2001], p.170)
     A reaction: Ellis replies that he is not troubled, because he believes in essential properties which are separate from their causal roles. Indeed, how else could you explain their causal roles? Still, distance must be mentioned when explaining gravity.
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God is not blessed and happy because of internal goods, but because of his own nature [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: God himself is not blessed and happy on account of any of the external goods but because of himself and what he is by his own nature.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1323b24)
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
Men imagine gods to be of human shape, with a human lifestyle [Aristotle]
     Full Idea: Just as men imagine gods in human shape, so they imagine their way of life to be like that of men.
     From: Aristotle (Politics [c.332 BCE], 1252b26)