Archive for January, 2015

Misquoting Aristotle

by Jason Stotts

We’re about one third of the way through editing the penultimate draft of Eros and Ethos and one thing I’m doing is cleaning up some of the quotes that I want to include. With most of the quotes, I already had references, since they came from my own research. However, there were some that I wanted to include that I found online or in other books without a textual reference. Being a serious scholar, I can’t very well include a quote without a reference, so I’ve been hunting them down. One quote that I really loved was:

“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

This was attributed to Aristotle, but without a reference. Now, this is a wonderful quote. It’s beautiful, eloquent, and says exactly what I’d like it to say. Unfortunately, I had never seen it in Aristotle before. After combing my Aristotle, and with some help from Facebook friends, we discovered this article which gave the source as “Nichomachean (sic) Ethics 1097b: 20 in Aristotle 1982″. The text there says:

“τέλειον δή τι φαίνεται καὶ αὔταρκες ἡ εὐδαιμονία, τῶν πρακτῶν οὖσα τέλος”

Which Ross translates as:

“Happiness, then, is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of action.”

After conferring with a couple of friends who know Greek and are qualified to speak on the matter, the Ross translation is correct and the original quote is much too loose. While this is somewhat disappointing, I’m glad I won’t be continuing the chain of this misquote.

I’m posting this here so that that others looking to track down this quote can save themselves the search. I think it’s also a useful reminder that even if a quote is often repeated, it’s always important to go back to the source to verify.

Arguing Online About Ethics

by Jason Stotts

Sometimes when I’m arguing about ethics online, I need to remember my Aristotle: “To examine then all the views held about happiness is superfluous, for children, sick people, and the insane all have views, but no sane person would dispute over them.” EE I.3.12b30.

Best of 2014

by Jason Stotts

Last year, 2014, was an exceptionally busy year.  I worked on revising my book Eros and Ethos and my MA in Clinical Psychology. Something about full-time grad school and working full-time, in addition to working on Eros and Ethos, hasn’t left me as much time as I would have liked to write essays for Erosophia. Nevertheless, there were some really good essays this year which I hope you’ll enjoy.

A couple of other updates.  Eros and Ethos should be published in the Fall, if all goes well. I’ll post updates as it gets closer and we finalize the date.  The Erosophia Podcast continues to grow and become more popular.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. Finally, I went to Catalystcon in the Fall and met lots of people.  Hopefully this year, I’ll be giving a presentation.

Top Essays of 2014:

10: Eros and Ethos Cover

The potential covers for Eros and Ethos.  The final version will be announced right before Eros and Ethos is published.

9. Question: Pornography and Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand didn’t like pornography, but not because she thought sex was base. So why didn’t she like pornography?

8. Operation Choke Point and the Erosion of Freedom

 The Obama administration is attacking porn and guns. Since they know most people don’t operate on principle and will only defend the liberty their party sanctions, they can divide us and take away our liberties piecemeal.

7. Eros and Ethos

Part of a recent proposal I wrote for Eros and Ethos that talks about why I’m writing it and what I want to accomplish.

6. Ill-Defined Harm: A Review of Jesse Bering’s Perv

I really enjoyed Perv, but I think it suffers from a fundamental lack of integrating philosophy.

5. Erotic Comprehension

How do we know we’re in a sexual situation as opposed to a nonsexual situation? It sounds simple enough, but there’s more here than meets the eye.

4. Porn Addiction?

I don’t believe in “porn addiction.” Guess who does? Religion. Guess what group of people is most likely to think they are porn addicts?  Religious people.

3. Getting Started with Female Anal Sexuality

I’ve written about male anal sexuality before, but somehow I haven’t written about female anal sexuality.  In this essay, I tackle that topic with some real advice about how to get started with female anal sexuality.

2. Authenticity

To live authentically is a powerful choice in life and will help you to create the life you really want.

1. On Intuitionism

In this essay, I explore the idea of “intuitionism” to see if it has any basis in the real world. Does it give us special access to truth?  Does it give us direct access to knowledge? It does give us something, but maybe not what you think it is.


Prior Years:

Best of 2013

Best of 2012

Best of 2011

Best of 2010

Best of 2009