Aristotle – the adorable nerd

Try to read Aristotle in translation or hear a philosopher explain his categories – it’s like wading through mire.  I space off, usually.  I’ve also occasionally made the mistake of asking distinguished philosophers to explain Aristotle’s OUSIA to me.  Oh the medieval terms they slingshoot at me…  Aristotle fades in the background, and only his ears stick out. 

Well – for one reason or another, I found myself reading Aristotle in the Greek.  The experience was shocking – the guy is not your average abstruse prick…

…as long as you translate him literally, warding off medieval terms like the plague.  After that, you can check the accuracy of medieval terms, but do not even attempt using them in the course of your literal translation!  Monsters, like “substance” and “essence,” will only aggravate your disorientation at first (not to mention “quiddity,” the most effective WMD in philosophers’ war against us intelligent ignoramuses).  But once you have read what The Nerd himself has to say, medieval slang will be powerless against your intellect. 

You know, it’s not fair.  If I make a statement, and then someone transmits it in a convoluted fashion, so that people who haven’t actually met me end up getting the wrong impression about my statement (and by implication, about me), I’ll be mightily annoyed…


2 thoughts on “Aristotle – the adorable nerd

  1. I was among the fortunate ones in attendance at your Greek II finale yesterday. Your improvised Aristotle presentation on the Categories was nothing short of a break-through. I’ve always appreciated the philosophical tone you imbue the texts – whether Tragedies (Euripides, Sophocles) or Epics (Iliad & Odyssey) and I hope you will schedule a course soon targeting Aristotelian philosophy; for none of us can live (in any true sense) without it.
    Long live Rali! aka Spirals galore

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