Saturday, May 06, 2006

More on Thought

In Aristotle's "Poetics", he states that Plot is the first principle of tragedy, and Character holds the second place. "Third in order is Thought, - that is, the faculty of saying what is possible and pertinent in given circumstances. In the case of oratory, this is the function of the political art and of the art of rhetoric: and so indeed the older poets make their characters speak the langauge of civic life; the poets of our time, the language of the rhetoricians. Character is that which reveals moral purpose, showing what kinds of things a man chooses or avoids. Speeches, therefore, which do not make this manifest, or in which the speaker does not choose or avoid anything whatever, are not expressive of character. Thought, on the other hand, is found where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated."
He's addressing the construction of poetry, but his words address a national malady: There is little or no productive thought coming from the leaders. There is much avoidance and lack of choosing anything whatever to explain what's happening. There is a screaming lack of character, with multiple counterfeit maxims spouted.
Such gloom today, inside and outside. Reflects my state of mind, but I must buoy up to keep my mother perked up.
Out this evening with my beloved menfolk.


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