The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from December 2013

An enduring way of doing it

December 31st, 2013 · No Comments

“Homer would appear to be divinely inspired in comparison with other poets; he did not attempt to make a poem out of the whole Trojan War even though the war had a beginning and an end, for it would have become too big to be easily seen as a whole, or, even if moderated in […]

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Tags: Aristotle · The Ancients

The wonders will never cease

December 30th, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

Pay me to watch me suffer

December 30th, 2013 · No Comments

“There’s more than one way to tame an artist, and liberal democracies have developed their own strategies of containment for the unruly. The deal liberalism has made with art is that artists can say whatever they want as long as they don’t touch anything that doesn’t belong to them. And artists have to compete for […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Malcolm Harris · Politics & Law

A human trinity

December 29th, 2013 · No Comments

“In every state there are three parts: the very rich, the very poor, and the middle class. So since it is agreed that the best and the mean is that which is moderate, it is evident that the best possession of goods which comes from fortune, too, is the one which is moderate, for this […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Twisties

December 28th, 2013 · No Comments

“Since those who are equal in one respect only should not share equally in all respects and those who are unequal in one respect should not share unequally in all respects, such forms of government which violate this principle are of necessity perversions.” – Aristotle, Politics, Book III (trans. Apostle and Gerson)

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Certain civic necessities

December 27th, 2013 · No Comments

“Without wealth and freedom a state cannot be managed at all, and without justice and military virtue it cannot be managed well.” – Aristotle, Politics, Book III (trans. Apostle and Gerson)

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Teach your children well

December 26th, 2013 · No Comments

“The nurture and pursuits of the young should be regulated by laws, for when they become habitual they are not painful. Getting the right nurture and care while young, however, is perhaps not sufficient; but since young men should pursue and be habituated to these also when they have become adults, laws would be needed […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The buck stops everywhere

December 25th, 2013 · 4 Comments

“Humanists who do not believe in God or a future life have been in a stronger position to insist on the urgency of making things better at once, in this one. If this is the only life that anybody has, then the fact that many people must spend it in such misery becomes more obviously […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

They are few and evil and we allow them to be ours

December 24th, 2013 · No Comments

“Aristocracy passes over into oligarchy by the badness of the rulers, who distribute the goods of the state in violation of merit, taking most or all of the goods for themselves, and paying attention to wealth most of all. Accordingly, these rulers are few and evil, instead of being the most equitable.” – Aristotle, Nicomachean […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

What are the assumptions underlying your assumptions?

December 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

“Any conclusions that specialists may draw about the relation of physical discoveries to life come from the whole of life, not just from physics, and are no stronger than their weakest link. Physics itself, moreover, is no self-contained enclave. Its arguments, like all other arguments, involve philosophical presuppositions, ideas that come from outside it. The […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley

Friending is virtual, befriending is real

December 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

“Friendship is a virtue or something with virtue, and, besides, it is most necessary to life; for no one would choose to live without friends, though he were to have all the other goods. Also those who possess wealth or have acquired authority or power are thought to need friends most of all; for of […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

One hopes to write a novel

December 21st, 2013 · No Comments

“People are always complaining that the modern novelist has no hope, and that the picture he paints of the world is unbearable. The only answer to this is that people without hope do not write novels. Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Dreamin’ the chase

December 20th, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

Chasin’ the dream

December 20th, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

What justice is, in case anyone’s forgotten

December 20th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Justice is a disposition in virtue of which the just man is said to be disposed by intention to do what is just and to make a distribution, either between himself and another or between others, not so as to get more of what is choiceworthy for himself and to give less of it to […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Train ’em

December 19th, 2013 · No Comments

“Of things which come to us by nature, we first bring along the powers and later exhibit the corresponding activities. This indeed is clear in the case of sensations; for it is not by seeing often or hearing often that we acquired the corresponding power of sensation, but conversely: we used the power after we […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Amassing new opiates

December 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“Among intellectuals, Marxism attracted people who like the heroic because of its emphasis on conflict, and it reassured those among them who might have distrusted its purely emotional appeal by the cragginess of its texts. (At this level, it pays to be unintelligible. Ex-party members who have had to study the works, not just of […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

The hard and the soft of it

December 17th, 2013 · No Comments

“The investigation of truth is in one sense difficult, in another easy. A sign of this is the fact that neither can one attain it adequately, nor do all fail, but each says something about the nature of things; and while each of us contributes nothing or little to the truth, a considerable amount of […]

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Tags: Aristotle · The Ancients

Or if you are so scared you spy on them

December 16th, 2013 · No Comments

“Though it is possible to be too trusting, someone who systematically distrusts people rather than trusting them does not strike us as an admirable or sensible character. Some degree of social courage—the willingness to risk being hurt in order to get near to people, to risk being misled in order to communicate—is an essential cognitive […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

Prospects for rape were daily contrived

December 15th, 2013 · No Comments

“The literature of early modern science is a mine of highly-coloured passages that describe Nature, by no means as a neutral object, but as a seductive but troublesome female, to be unrelentingly pursued, sought out, fought against, chased into her inmost sanctuaries, prevented from escaping, persistently courted, wooed, harried, vexed, tormented, unveiled, unrobed, and ‘put […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

Would you like fries with that?

December 14th, 2013 · No Comments

“If our curiosity is in no way respectful—if we don’t see the objects we speculate about as joined with us and related to us, however distantly, within some vast enclosing common enterprise which gives them their independent importance—then (it appears) our curiosity, though it may remain intense, shrinks, corrupts and becomes just a form of […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley · Politics & Law

It does seem to exist when one is late

December 13th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“That time is either altogether nonexistent, or that it exists but hardly or obscurely, might be suspected from the following: One part of it has come to be but no longer exists; the other part will be but does not yet exist; and it is of these two parts that infinite time, or any time […]

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Tags: Aristotle · The Ancients

By the sign of the rod and cave

December 12th, 2013 · No Comments

“Psychological symbols cannot be altered in the brisk way in which one might change a road-sign. They are not, like words, conventional signs, loose pieces arbitrarily nailed to their meanings. Nor are they even fixed items, standing in regularly for a single meaning, as Freud seems to have thought. For him, pen simply meant penis […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley

Varying your order

December 11th, 2013 · No Comments

“Order in the world does not consist in a single, simple, basic arrangement of indestructible balls or bricks which give the real explanation of everything. Instead, it is a wide range of much less simple, interconnected patterns. Order as we perceive it at the level of everyday experience is not an illusion. It is not […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley

All the world’s a stage

December 10th, 2013 · No Comments

“Views about facts never stand alone. They are always shaped by background world-pictures which are often scarcely noticed, but which link them in a pattern and so to some extent explain them. And these world-pictures are themselves not value-free; they are always more or less dramatized.” – Mary Midgley, Science as Salvation

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley

Hey Jane

December 9th, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Verandah

Getting things in the proper order

December 9th, 2013 · No Comments

“Nothing can be more true than scientific knowledge except intuition.” – Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Book II (trans. Apostle and Gerson)

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Tags: Aristotle · The Ancients

What’s the solution?

December 8th, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

And just how did that happen?

December 8th, 2013 · No Comments

“Science is important for exactly the same reason that the study of history or of language is important—because we are beings that need in general to understand the world in which we live, and our culture has chosen a way of life to which that understanding is central. All human beings need some kind of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mary Midgley

Even if the Times doesn’t review it

December 7th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Even if you only write one book, that’s one of your great achievements in life.” – Pamela Paul, Editor, New York Times Book Review

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Tags: Lit & Crit