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It is better to incomplete a major effort! (1)

One day while talking at the Philosophy Department with the research associates, assistants, and graduate students about what I was going to study before I graduates, I said I wanted to study Greek philosophy – Plato in particular – but that my graduation thesis would be on Dante’s Divine Comedy or Herakleitos.

They asked why, and I responded that it was because the were both great prophets. Everyone laughed.

I did not think that this story would reach Professor Ide, but two or three day later the professor said, “I heard that you would like to do Dante or Herakleitos for your graduation thesis. Forget that, and do Aristotle.” He gave three reasons:

First, “Aristotle is Greece”s foremost philosopher; he thinks logically so he provides you with a good foundation.”

Two, “Aristotle is good medicine… particularly for dreamers like you.”

His third reason was the most important. “Commentaries on Aristotle have been written since ancient times, and an immense amount of research already has been done on him. If you read the best commentaries from each era, you would be studying the entire history of philosophy. Tackle as wide a scope as you can.”

 

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