Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Quoting Mr. Russell

'As to Aristotle's influence on him [Alexander,] we are left free to conjecture whatever seems most plausible. For my part, I should suppose it nil. Alexander was an ambitious and passionate boy, on bad terms with his father, and presumably impatient of schooling. Aristotle thought no state should have as many as one hundred thousand citizens and preached the doctrine of the golden mean. I cannot imagine his pupil regarding him as anything but a prosy old pedant, set over him by his father to keep him out of mischief.'
-from Bertrand Russell's The History of Western Philosophy.  

Ha! So much for all those who want to make Aristotle's tutoring of Alexander into something important.

Lazily, I rather wanted the most recent Classics Club spin to force me to read something long and challenging, but the random number generator refused. So I thought, well, I'll just have to do it myself then, won't I? Spenser's Faerie Queene and Plutarch's Lives are still sitting next to my reading chair, but it looks like it's going to be Bertrand Russell's The History of Western Philosophy. I'm 200 pages in (out of 800+).

I'm a bit shocked how readable, and even amusing, I'm finding it. Let me once get to the chapters about Kant and Hegel, and I'll probably start groaning.

The actual spin for me, Sheridan's The School for Scandal still awaits, but I'm expecting to find that a fun and easy read.


  1. Even though I don't do well with reading plays, I did love School for Scandal. As you say, fun!

    1. Plays are tricky to read for me, too, because you don't get the physical cues a novelist would give you.