Porquoi chez Aristote?

Ah, why is the name of this blog in French? Who’s Aristote? Why are we chez’ing?

I’ve been working on Plato for a while now, but I wish everyone liked Aristotle more: a while back I got to reading some articles on Aristotle, that fellow, in French, and I loved the way they had in that language to talk about him; they referred to his way of doing business as “chez” Aristote, you know, Aristotle. Metaphysique du temps chez Aristote…la notion du nécessaire chez Aristote. Not “according to” or “in the words of,” or worst of all “as Aristotle says”—-but just ‘chez Aristote,’ you know, what goes down at Aristotle’s house; in the man’s neighborhood or vicinity. Aristotle is a guy in your neighborhood.

Wait, why is it all according to Aristotle?

It’s not all according to Aristotle. It’s chez him. He’s one of my favorite people, because he’s always trying to figure out how the way we talk about things, reveals what’s going on with the things we talk about. I hope this sounds pleasantly obscure. I’m not interested in finding one philosopher’s way of thinking to be definitive; that’s when dialectic goes awry. But I do love Aristotle and wish more people were friends with him: if you need to hear some sense, sit down with one of the man’s books.

Why have you callously abandoned talk about knitting and needlework?

It’s a pity. I first blogged on chezaristote.net from December 2007 to April 2011; it was so helpful to write without deadlines or official academic readers. It was also relaxing to just mostly write about a sweater or dress I made. But these days, I’m no longer as interested in talking publicly about string and needles; just doing it wordlessly. This could change. Maybe not? It was fun while it was!

But what is dialectic? And why are sandcastles involved?

I’m interested in finding a way to talk and write about philosophy in playful earnest: I’m dead tired with points of order beside the point, empty antagonistic new definitions, or things only the specialist could love. I’m trying to trick myself and the English language into speaking the language of philosophy. Educated layman, I’m looking at you.

Sandcastles are playful things you construct; dialectic in all seriousness knocks them down.




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