Happiness and the relation to internals and externals

I mean to reflect on happiness for the human being which means a bodily being and not a disembodied spirit (angelic being). On the assumption that the human being is the creature in the middle, part soul and part body, internals and externals must be considered for the production of happiness in this earthly life. […]

Chrysippus, Epictetus, and wrongful devotion

Chrysippus died, we think, in 206 BCE. Diogenes Laertius says the cause of death was a fit of laughter. Though only fragments remain of his writings he is renowned to have written over 705 works. By the time Epictetus is exhorting and Arrian is copying around the end of the first century CE Chrysippus’ status […]

The Impossibility of Progress

Says the sage: “Be unwilling to change in regard to the good. Be willing and ready to change whenever the version of the good aimed at shows itself to be inadequate.” Says the pupil: “But I am stuck.” Sage: “Is there nothing that is good to you?” Pupil: “I hesitate to give an answer for […]

The Precariousness of Thought

An Argument: P1)Appearances are everything. P2) Reality is nothing. P3)Reality is better than appearance. C) So, aim at nothing. I am interested in how the argument can be read either as a recommendation of giving up or as a recommendation of overcoming. Either one reads the conclusion as the statement of the worthlessness of aiming […]

John 3:8, transformation, wind, Plato’s MENO.

In John 3:8 Jesus attempts to cloak moral/spiritual transformation in an earthly figure that Nicodemus (who should understand given his status as a teacher in his community) can understand. He uses the analogy of birth. Nicodemus does not understand. Jesus’ response? Another earthly analogy involving wind. (Paraphrase) Listen man, don’t balk at what I am […]

Exemplar Causality and Salvation/Transformation

“Exemplar Causality” can be found in Bonaventure and Aquinas. The idea is old and its mention in conversation just the other day has sent me off like a rocket. The ancient question of transformation, reform, development, progress is always due attention. It is in the most significant sense the question of change, with the edition […]


A feature of living organisms is how broad the range is of conditions under which they can adapt and survive. The conditions under which they can flourish is much smaller. Take slavery for example: humans can persist under very adverse conditions where they are greatly hampered and restricted from engaging in human activity freely, under […]