Tagged: Homer

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Properties of Blood, I:.3: The Disappearing Individual, Part D

Before going on with the argument, let us take our bearing and sum up.  The question on the table in this chapter is whether or not human beings, as moral actors, are primarily individuals–in this or any age.  Enlightened liberalism seems to tell us either that we are individuals by nature or that we ought to be.  And yet, as was pointed out at the beginning of the chapter, the more we harp on individualism, the more we appear to be herd animals.  In earlier books, I surveyed some of the anthropological literature, which shows pretty clearly that, in so-called...

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Autodidact 5: Homer on Moral Values

The Code of the Aristocracy Achilles is far from being the only hero of the Iliad.  There are brilliant separate episodes involving other great heroes–Ajax, Diomedes, Odysseus, Amphilochus, Sarpedon, Aeneas, Hector, and Idomeneus, whose exploits I described in the previous section.  The name for these episodes is aristeia—from the Greek word meaning best—the moment of glory.  In these scenes we can get a glimpse of a basic principle of Greek morality that will last until the end of antiquity: the pursuit of excellence. In Book VI, as I have already mentioned, the young Lycian warrior Glaucus tells Diomedes, tells him...

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The Autodidact I: Homer Part 1

The Autodidact Returns I:  Homer 1 I thought of calling this series “The Autodidact Rides Again,” but I would need to know how to insert the famous ride from the overture to William Tell, and the old familiar radio voice that invited listeners to  “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear….”   In fact, in these first installments we are going back a bit farther than those days when the masked rider of the plains stung the gun out of a villain’s hand by shooting his gun barrel.  Recent changes in my career delayed the plan I...