Sunday, May 12, 2019

Quoting Mr. Russell, #3

"There once was a mayor who had adopted Aristotle's doctrine [of the golden mean]; at the end of his term of office he made a speech saying that he had endeavoured to steer the narrow line between partiality on the one hand and impartiality on the other."
Oh, so clever, Mr. Russell. This is, of course, meant to be a satire on Aristotle's idea of the golden mean, that a virtue consists of hewing to the medium between two extremes, which are both vices. But, hey, I come from Chicago: a mayor who could say that and do so truthfully sounds just fine to me.

I could even build an argument that, in an elected official, too much impartiality is not entirely desirable, a little partiality to one's partisans is called for, and that Aristotle actually wins this round. But we'll save that for another post, on a more political blog...

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