I still cannot look at snow without feeling awe; how it seems to fall in slow motion. Like being summoned to the window as a child, going outside to watch the geometrical shapes fall onto our clothes. What a strange world this is. And even stranger that some historians play with history like little pieces of Lego; if it is a game, then the pieces can be arranged as per will, in as many ways. And so is not truth, truth, which according to Aristotle is above the variability associated with human action. So is there no truth of things past - what absurdity. Unless we subscribe to the mathematics of parallel lives. But perhaps we prefer to look to the past for stability, not fluctuation. The student says: art is so confusing today, I can't find myself in it. Who wouldn't be in that chaotic hall stripped of signposts. I pick up the pieces, from λέγω (2 LSJ). I count and I tell. I speak, call by name and wish to say.
In Aristotle's Ethics (VI), he writes, "the young can only repeat [knowledge of particular facts] without conviction of their truth." Experience is required. I just wonder about what happens if traditional, time-tested principles are not introduced through teaching. A while back, an n+1 article called the Theory Generation surmised that Theory did not provide adequate instruction for life.
To look to the past for stability is today called honoring the dead over the living present; to look for order is called exercising outmoded hegemony. Meanwhile, in the name of relativity, anything goes in the rewriting of history, all manner of ridiculous things get said but pass in an obscured game of scapegoat. How convenient for those who bend to caprice without the extra thought that goes in to φρόνησις, practical wisdom. While practical wisdom is not the same as art or even a means of knowing it is nonetheless concerned with the truth, which some people call a fiction.
Order has been banished. The great chain of being according to which things took their places has been replaced by trends in mathematics seeking disorder and multiplicities (rhizomes in space?). Yet to argue change is the only constant denies that this pertains to that which is visible. It is no surprise that immaterial words are so easily taken out of context.
"There cannot be a single wisdom dealing with the good of all living things, any more than there is one art of medicine for all existing things." It is not even enough to know the truth: a person knowing it "will not know what medicines to take merely from being told to take everything that medical science or a medical expert would prescribe."
"It therefore follows that φρόνησις is a truth-attaining rational quality concerned with action in relation to the things that are good for human beings."
That are good for human beings - this pertains to the ability to deliberate the best course of action. " Now it is held to be the mark of a prudent man to be able to deliberate well about what is good and advantageous for himself, not in some one department, for instance what is good for his health or strength, but what is advantageous as a means to the good life in general."
Truth attaining - "Virtue ensures the rightness of the end we aim at," and, "but a man corrupted by a love of pleasure or fear of pain, entirely fails to discern any first principle ...vice tends to destroy the sense of principle." This understanding, as we have seen, is solidified through experience - φρόνησις "is derived from experience."
Rational quality - intellect controls the "action and the attainment of truth".
Concerned with - φρόνησις has a τέλος; "Deliberative Excellence in general is therefore that which leads to correct results with reference to the end in general" and, "Prudence ensures the rightness of the means we adopt to gain that end."
Action - It is "not enough to know how, you must do it."
While not even Aristotle himself claims to have mastered φρόνησις or even understood it entirely, the point is that his description of it leads the reader to ask themselves many questions. From λέγω we arrive at the Italian leggo, I read. Hopefully, I think, too. And discern those good ideas that might help my actions; learn how to see so as not to be burdened by appearance where it does not help. I saw the picture of one who has tinkered with history; favorably postmodern, graffiti in the background reminding me of Anthony Daniels' observation that, "Egalitarians usually have a very strong sense of hierarchy." Like professors insisting on first-name basis, usually not to be mistaken for equality as two humans trying to figure this life out, but as a sign that the workings of status become more insidious. I ask, what is wrong with deference? It usually teaches - in more than one way.
"For it is absurd to think that political science or prudence is the loftiest kind of knowledge, inasmuch as man is not the highest thing in the world," writes Aristotle. "There exist other things far more divine in their nature than man, for instance ... the celestial system." The unknown and exciting hardly diminished by all of the order of the great chain of being. Two birds just came and ate at my window ledge; I saw one drink the snow. This "distancing" from the quotidian, "surprise of the incongruous" (like that street furniture scene in Hebdomeros I wish I could find) can be found also in order, in the very mystery of being alive.