The other day someone asked me how my book was coming and we ended up getting into a conversation about Objectivism and the philosophy of art. It was all very elevated and, just remembering it, I can barely keep my pinky finger from shooting out and seizing its privileged place above it's fellow fingers.
|What a mysterious and imposing 'wordle' this turned out to be.|
Clearly, I'm joking (I hope that's clear, or else my sense of humor is severely out of whack.) I could (I did) characterize the conversation we had that way, but it wasn't a conversation about putting things under the correct headings in a college coursebook, or helping each other feel superior because we both knew who Ayn Rand was or could debate the artistic elements and merit of photography. It was two guys talking about stuff guys think about and care about. If we'd been doing any of that other stuff, the conversation wouldn't have been about art, it would have been secretly about us.
And this is one reason I love Aristotle. There is a certain lingual barrier to be overcome when reading Aristotle that could make him seem needlessly cumbersome or esoteric. He didn't speak English, as you know, so there's translation involved if you don't speak ancient Greek – which I don't. But he isn't being esoteric. He is just a guy talking about stuff that guys think about and care about. He just happens to be incredibly brilliant at just being a guy.
I talked about this in another update when I talked about common-sense, reading more Aristotle has just been confirming it.
And I really do think it's important that we develop the habit of applying this “common-sense” (which includes our minds as well as our emotions and senses) to all the things we read and watch and so on. Actually, I don't even think it's doing something extra to reflect on and reason about what you've been watching or playing or reading, no matter what the subject matter is.
When you take something in with your senses, and respond to it with your emotions, you're mind is already wrestling with the ideas and realities it contains. The question is whether you finish the job by reflecting on it, or leave it half done.
Reading Aristotle and enjoying it, as you may have guessed.
I glanced at my notes too, but the attempt to get a comprehensive view of them in order to take the next step hurt my brain. It was a busy weekend that included watching a 3 year old and an 19 month old over night. So, nothing more sleep won't cure. I'll be tackling my notes over the rest of the week.