I know, I know, I’ve been really lax in blogging, and have clearly been overtaken in both quantity and quality of output by Tasha’s sterling efforts on this front. In my defence, I have – always – got an awful lot of reading to do. It’s funny, because there’s a real trade-off with doing political thought papers: on the one hand, when it comes to actually planning and writing my weekly essay it’s a lot easier, as you don’t have to roam so widely, but at the same time I do an awful lot more reading and note-taking than I usually manage over the week. Still, this isn’t a complaint – I do love it really
Had a really lovely T&S evening last weekend, in which we were all surprised (and much impressed) by Andrew’s new-found cocktail making abilities. (They were, and I tell no lie, delicious.) What was odd, and frankly what I didn’t deserve, was to wake up in the middle of the night afterwards with eighteenth century discourse trapped in my drunken brain. Seriously. Rather than saying “hmm, go get some water” to myself, I ended up musing internally in elaborate prose about whether quenching my thirst was an ‘ultimate end’ in itself or not, which now seems like the wrong side of mental. Still, worth it for the cocktails. Tonight Sophie and I went for a relaxed marital* pub-confab, which is another thing which forms a very worthy companion to working all day, and is much appreciated, partly because Sophie has an uncanny ability to memorise all of my London-based friends and keep track of their news as well as Cambridge gossip, so it’s almost like mentally popping back home. (Hmm – there’s that ‘mental’ word again. Worrying, worrying.)
(*You remember we’re college husband and wife, right? This isn’t needlessly confusing? Great!)
And now for the big end of blog diversion which you don’t have to read:
Socrates. You’ve heard of him, surely. A Greek philosopher who lived in the 5th century BCE. He taught Plato, who went on to teach Aristotle. A bunch of writing from these last two DWEMs survives to the present day.
But is it too harsh to wish that it hadn’t? Because the fact is: there were others. Leucippus. Democritus. Epicurus. We don’t have much of their stuff, but we do know that they all advocated a materalist atomism which was way ahead of their times. Can you imagine how the course of history could have been different if they had ended up representing classical thought, rather than the intellectual sophists and dead-ends which we did get? You might say that it wouldn’t have mattered much in comparison to armies, conquests and empires. But I like to think we could have at least done it all better