Yes, indeed, you might deduce from the heading that I like the Ancient Greek philosopher, but that is not my point here. On Thursday night during my first week in Prague, I met up with F, a friend from Germany. We had a few drinks, and while pondering about love and life, he told me about a concept that I formerly had referred to myself as the “pendulum effect”. I used this term to describe the observation that, when a change of mind makes you discard one extreme trait of yours, you are likely to subsequently switch to the opposite extreme, before realizing the “sweet spot” is actually somewhere in between. When he brought up a similar thought that night, calling it something “inherently Greek”, I just had to broach the subject.
As it appeared, it was indeed Aristotle from Ancient Greece who came up with that thing named MESOTES, which stands for the idea that a virtue is always positioned at some point between two opposed vices. These vices express surfeit and lack of the virtue, respectively. For instance: lavishness – beneficence – greed. However, the precise spot of that virtue, between the vices, is said to differ individually.
Pandering to my rising interest in the field, I decided afterwards I would start reading the ORGANON, a collection of fundamental texts regarding Aristotle’s philosophic views. After I discovered that the full version consisted of 500–1,000 pages, depending on the edition, I thought I’d rather read it as an eBook. I took my Amazon Fire tablet with me to Prague, so this would be perfect.
… And actually, it should be simple. Getting Aristotle On Fire. Just five short minutes, spared between my other jobs and to-dos. Right?