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Is Lyon's portrait of Aristotle accurate Does it match what Classics scholars know about Aristotle - Research Paper Example

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Name 1 Name Class Instructor Date An Academic Through and Through: Seeking the Historical Aristotle The image of Aristotle the rigid academician instructing a turbulent Alexander is one of the most enduring views of the Classical world, one handed down to us by ancient scholars and authors…
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Is Lyons portrait of Aristotle accurate Does it match what Classics scholars know about Aristotle
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Download file to see previous pages Lyon’s Aristotle and Alexander are highly credible portrayals of a great thinker confined by the exacting discipline learned under Plato, and of the strong-willed and heedless young son of Phillip of Macedon. Lyon writes a telling exchange between the two that encapsulates the complex dynamic at work in one of history’s most engrossing relationships. Lyon addresses the fundamental difference between them. “You conflate pleasure and happiness, real enduring happiness,” Aristotle remonstrates. “A few thrills, a few sensations. Your first woman, your first elephant, your first spicy meal, your first hangover, your first ascent of a mountain no man’s ever climbed, and your first view from the top to the other side. You want to string together a life of thrills.” Name 2 With characteristic self-assuredness, Alexander responds, “Teach me better then. Come with my army. Come with me. You’ve been a father to me. Don’t orphan me twice” (Lyon, 278). It’s an affecting scene one might expect to take place between an older, wiser father and an impetuous son. It is unlikely that the headstrong Alexander would have yielded to his tutor, despite the great scholar’s renown, anywhere but in the classroom. ...
History affords few such comparative character studies, few that exhibit such a fascinating contrast of personalities involved both emotionally and in conflict. “Here is a rare intellectual collision: the wintry hearted philosopher and the future military commander, whose own incipient depression is caused not by a lack of passion, but a surfeit” (MacDonald, 2009). Both men are dynamic in their own ways, but Alexander ultimately outstrips his brilliant but repressed tutor. “It is Alexander who ultimately wins the book-long joust with his tutor, since he is a man who not only feels but also acts” (MacDonald, 2009). Aristotle and Alexander appear to have comprised something of an “odd couple:” Alexander the “A-type” personality, non-reflective and dynamic; while Aristotle, who had seen military service, by comparison a bookish, non-physical, even effeminate type, according to Name 3 ancient accounts. The biographer Diogenes Laertius, drawing on secondary and tertiary accounts, wrote that “He had a lisping voice, as is asserted by Timotheus the Athenian…He had also very thin legs, they say, and small eyes; but he used to indulge in very conspicuous dress, and rings, and used to dress his hair carefully” (Shields, 419-20). Lyon tells us that Alexander’s view of Aristotle’s golden mean was, at best, derisive, telling Aristotle that his “middle way” philosophy prizes mediocrity (Lyon, 193). In spite of such criticism, Lyon’s treatment of the complex relationship between Aristotle and Alexander serves as a kind of cautionary tale. Alexander fails to learn important lessons that are really about character and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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