19 June 2011


A.  "Say you are a little girl and I am a totalitarian father. It is Saturday afternoon. I say, 'I don’t care what you want to do, you have to visit your grandmother.’ You go but you secretly hate me and try to revolt and that is OK. That is good.  But the monstrous permissive father will say: 'You know how much your grandmother loves you, but visit her only if you really want to.’ Beneath the appearance of a choice is a much more severe order. Not only must you visit grandma but you must want to and like it. I had such a father, which is why I hate him." — Zizek

B.  "It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produce, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good.  But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.  As the latter will not be made well in body by such a course of treatment, the former will not be made will in soul by such a course of philosophy." — Aristotle, Ethics B.4

C.  "By abstaining from pleasures we become temperate, and it is when we have become so that we are most able to abstain from them; and similarly too in the case of courage; for by being habituated to despise things that are terrible and to stand our ground against them we become brave, and it is when we have become so that we shall be most able to stand our ground against them."  — Aristotle, Ethics B.2