Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Social Algorithm's and Common Sense
On page 267, it is stated that thanks to Florentine’s reading of Aristotle, “a new way of seeing the world had been born, and with it a new appreciation of civil freedom.” This reminded me of the discussion that we had earlier in the semester about a naturally occurring algorithm to help solve more complex social issues in the chapter “The Mind of God”. If we change the term of social issues to address the political arena we may be on to something. Politics are necessary. Society needs social structure and we need laws so we don’t end up having “The Purge” commenced by the Bourgeois on us every night. I disagree with the statement that “the end of the state is not mere life, it is, rather a good quality of life”, however, I agree that “without liberty, life has no meaning”.
This question has without doubt been pondered by several philosophers throughout time. Not to mention within our current political climate. The Republican/Democratic split is the perfect spectrum to compare this to. Politics is all about which laws should be made stricter and which laws need to be made more liberal. Gun rights, women’s rights, criminal law, LGBT+ rights all have a political spectrum that waivers on either side of the scale of justice. My question is, how does Aristotle contribute to this interpretation? P. 272 discusses a God-directed democracy, yet it ended in flames and martyrdom. The irony here is that we almost find ourselves in the same type of circumstance with the upcoming election. Either candidate deters us away from any sort of Godliness.
To summarize my tangential post, perhaps there are politically scientific cues written within historical Aristotle that provide answers to the complex social phenomena in contemporary times. I know personally that from reading Aristotle’s Ethics my own interactions with others increased dramatically and I was instilled with a new form of consciousness about my interactions with differing types of friends. This philosophic consciousness however leads me to realize that if there is a reducible basic theory, it is only a theory, because to quote Heraclitus, “You can’t walk through the same river twice” and you certainly aren’t able to quantify that water-going experience either. So much like the theory of Schrodinger’s cat, some things are best left in the mind and others best left to feeling, experience and common sense.