The idea of the good is the highest knowledge

Quote of the Day for Saturday, April 2nd, 2011: Socrates on the knowledge of the good, in Plato’s Republic (Book VI, Jowett translation): When little things are elaborated with an infinity of pains, in order that they may appear in their full beauty and utmost clearness, how ridiculous is it that we should not think the highest truths worthy of attaining the highest accuracy! … [Y]ou have often been told that the idea of the good is the highest knowledge, and that all other things become useful and advantageous only by their use of this. . . [With...

The Ordering of Knowledge

One of the benefits of my recent living space changes has been the opportunity to revisit my library cataloguing scheme. For years, I used Dewey Decimal Classification coding to organize my books. The Dewey system has the advantage of having had the majority of books already catalogued within the system – and most of the newer volumes include a Dewey number assignment within the Library of Congress cataloguing information after the title page, meaning that not only would I not need to go through the process of categorizing and assigning lookup numbers t...

Looking in the Mirror

Ever since high school, I’ve been keeping a journal of at least occasional thoughts, as well as some other minor writing. Sometime during the summer of what I think was 1984, I threw away all my collected writing to date – with the exception of a small set of poetry that was the lyrical content of some music I was composing at the time. I’ve often since regretted that action, thinking that, in my rashness, I’ve deprived myself of a good source of knowledge and insight into myself as a person. I’m not sure I still regret it,...

Adler on Liberal Education

I wanted to write a follow-up tonight to my last post, refuting the silly (if a bit scary) notion of celebrity gossip as a legitimate form of moral discourse, but I strained my neck last night, and have been unable to spend enough time in front of the computer. I’ll have to come back for that. Instead, I’ve been trying to get through a Mortimer J Adler book I started in late February but wasn’t able to do much with in March. I’m not prepared to get into too much detail about it yet, as I’ve only just begun part four of the ...