TED Conversations

Aldous Blair

Student,

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The modern rebirth of Aristotle's ideas.

These four* tagged speakers invoke powerful arguments that Aristotle's theories about society, morals, democratic debate, and motivation are not outdated or dis-proven, but rather have been vindicated over time, and are now more relevant than ever.

For the less familiar, here are some examples of modern proposals of his ideas at their simplest;

-That citizens and politicians have a responsibility to debate about what we consider moral, and this debate is not possible and impractical to avoid.

-Rules and incentives that compose conventional wisdom should give way to 'Practical Wisdom' where those knowledgeable and able to bend rules to fit circumstances that morally require such, do so..

-"Emotions are not separate from reason, but they are the foundations of reason because they tell us what to value." - David Brooks.

-There's little about us that can be said to be truly individual due to our obvious but forgotten or ill-considered interdependence and influence.

-Human beings are motivated more by a sense of purpose than by any other material incentive.

Part of what this stems from is a universal resentment of institutions, governmental and private, that are failing to treat people as people.
Our opinions must be judged and cannot be calculated or generalised. We need to be seen in a manor that responds to us as we are, not as would be politically convenient.
Why should this come to pass? Why not? And, importantly, how?

*Edit- corrected from 'three' to 'four'

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    Mar 27 2011: Phillosophy in general has never been as urgent as today Adan. We need to get everybody's wheels turning. First of among many things that can be done in this endeavor we need to rescue our ethical, wise heroes. Here at home there has been a huge growing trend of what i have come to call "Idiot-latry" the people or characters that are constantly been waved and celebrated in front of eveyone are done so in terms of how agreessive they are, how much money they have and yes how stupid they can be even. No one is celebrated for their values, wisdome, insight or creativity. That brings one problem through a distorted logic it is implied that inturn wise people are not popular, loners, rejected individuals whom no one wants to associate with much less try to emulate. We need to rescue our wise heroes and use our creativity to depict them in ways that are appealing. But there lies the rub, phillosophers are so used to be looked at as wise looners that they in turn aid to create that distance between themselves and society. Just step into a phillosophy class and you will see it. Fortunaletly this ctrend is starting chage in campus but we need it to change everywhere. Writers, filmmakers, producers and (God forbid) TV execs. need to start using the same strageties that have so successfully been used to sell cars and clothes to bring our Wise heroes back into the media landscape. it would be a start.

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