Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aristotle on Love

When Aristotle was asked, "What is love?" he replied "What is life without love? Love is like the sun; without light, there's no life"

(The image used above is "Fire and Ice", by Josephine Wall. She has so many fantastic images in her gallery. I highly recommend taking a look at her paintings for they will take you on a journey of imagination.)


klaus s said...

you can find so many expressions of love in her image.

The Knight said...

The only Magical Might!

Elio Milay said...

I have to say that, in spite of this wonderful and idealistic thought about love, Aristotle was a misogine philosopher like Pythagoras, and like almost all ancient greeks (and modern too, I'm afraid...) He was convinced that women are inferior beings. Please take a look at some of his writings:


Aristotle discusses the difference between male and female and women most explicitly in The Generation of Animals: 716a5-23, 727a2-30, 727b31-33, 728b18-31, 765b8-20, 766a17-30, 783b29-784a12. His purpose was not to make a case for the existential subordination or inferiority of the female to the male—he and his readers took that for granted—but to provide a "scientific" explanation of this assumption. What follows are some short passages from this discussion.


As we said one can easily identify the causes of birth as the male and the female, the male as the cause of change and development, the female as the supplier of the material.


It is clear, then, that the female's role in birth is the material one, that this is to found in the menstrual emission and that the menstrual emission is an excretion.


The male and the female differ from each other in the possession of an ability and in the lack of an ability. The male is able to concoct, formulate and to ejaculate the sperm which contains the origin of the form [of the being to be born]-I do not mean here the material element out of which it is born resembling its parent but the initiating formative principle whether it acts within itself or within another. The female, on the other hand, is that which receives the seed but is unable to formulate or to ejaculate it.


Women do not grow bald because their nature is very similar to that of children in that neither of them has sperm nor is capable of ejaculation. Eunuchs, too, do not grow bald because of their transformation into the female and they either do not grow at all the hair which grows later except for pubic hair or they lose it if they already have it [at the time of their becoming eunuchs] Since women also don not have these hairs except for pubic hair, this deficiency [in eunuchs] is the result of the change from the male to the female.

Anonymous said...

Love is our light.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. Her painting are beautiful.

Sophia said...

Hi Elio,

I think my short answer is better than the longer one I gave which I just deleted on second thought.

For me, the important thing is to feel that the words resonate with me. The words are what matter, not the man who spoke them.