The philosophical classic explores the value and significance of leisure, arguing that it is the foundation of any culture, necessary for the development of religion and the contemplation of the nature of God, and issues a warning about the loss of insight due to our substitution of hectic amusements for nonactivity, silence, and true leisure.
"The book closes with Pieper's thoughts on the permanent philosophical and theological significance of scholasticism and the Middle Ages. Once again, wearing his learning lightly, writing with a clarity that delights, Josef Pieper has taken the field from stuffier and more extended accounts."--BOOK JACKET.
Plato's famous dialogue, the Phaedrus, was variously subtitled in antiquity: "On Beauty", "On Love", "On the Psyche". It is also concerned with the art of rhetoric, of thought and communication. Pieper, noted for the grace and clarity of his style, gives an illuminating and stimulating interpretation of the dialogue. Leaving the more recondite scholarly preoccupations aside, he concentrates on the content, bringing the actual situation in the dialogue -- Athens and its intellectuals engaged in spirited debate -- alive. Equally alive (...) is the discussion of ideas, which are brought to bear on contemporary experience and made to prove the perennial validity of Socratic wisdom, and its power to excite the mind. The main thesis -- that in poetry and in love man is "beside himself", that is, divinely inspired -- is discussed with reference to modern poets, novelists, and modern psychology. (shrink)
Plato's famous dialogue, the Phaedrus, was variously subtitled in antiquity: "On Beauty," "On Love," "On the Psyche." It is also concerned with the art of rhetoric, of thought and communication. Pieper gives interpretation of the dialogue. Leaving the more recondite scholarly preoccupations aside, he concentrates on the content, bringing the actual situation in the dialogue - Athens and its intellectuals engaged in spirited debate - alive. Equally alive is the discussion of ideas, which are brought to bear on contemporary experience (...) and made to prove the perennial validity of Socratic wisdom, and its power to excite the mind. The main thesis - that in poetry and in love man is "beside himself," that is, divinely inspired - is discussed with reference to modern poets, novelists, and modern psychology. (shrink)
A single theme runs through the three essays on St. Thomas gather in this book. It is the theme of mystery or, more exactly, the response of the searching human intellect to the fact of mystery. Both the fact and the response are suggested in a short biography of St. Thomas that forms the first essay and are then sketched out in detail by a presentation of the "negative element" in his philosophy. The third essay shows that contemporary Existentialism is (...) in basic agreement with the philosophia perennis on this fundamental element of philosophical thinking. (shrink)
The Christian idea of man -- The idea of man in general -- The Christian idea of man and St. Thomas Aquinas's theory of virtues -- The true concept of virtue and the hierarchy of virtues -- Prudence -- Justice -- Courage and fear of the Lord -- Discipline and moderation -- Faith, hope, and love -- The distinction between a natural and supernatural ethos.
One of the great Catholic philosophers of our day reflects on the way language has been abused so that, instead of being a means of communicating the truth and entering more deeply into it, and of the acquisition of wisdom, it is being used to control people and manipulate them to achieve practical ends. Reality becomes intelligible through words. Man speaks so that through naming things, what is real may become intelligible. This mediating character of language, however, is being increasingly (...) corrupted. Tyranny, propaganda, mass-media destroy and distort words. They offer us apparent realities whose fictive character threatens to become opaque. Josef Pieper shows with energetic zeal, but also with ascetical restraint, the path out of this dangerous situation. We are constrained to see things again as they are and from the truth thus grasped, to live and to work. (shrink)
Kümmert euch nicht um Sokrates. Drei Fernsehspiele - Die Figur des Sophisten in den platonischen Dialogen - Kallikles: Der Mensch ohne Wahrheitsverhältnis - Der gerechtfertigte Praktiker - Die Lernenden - Die dialogische Form der platonischen Philosophie - Zwei Bemerkungen über die Bauform des platonischen Symposion - "Billigkeit" in der Interpretation - Begeisterung und göttlicher Wahnsinn. Über den platonischen Dialog Phaidros - Über die platonischen Mythen.
The famous and popular Thomistic philosopher addresses the topic of hope from the perspective of human history and asks the questions: "Is man's hope such that it can find any fulfillment in the field of human history?" And: "Is man's human history such that it can give us any grounds not to despair?" Pieper looks at the movement of history, the idea of progress, man's hope for a better future, and he counters the temptation to despair with a Christian philosophy (...) of hope based on faith in divine providence and the compatibility of faith and reason. (shrink)
For Pieper, the study of tradition is anything but antiquarian. He begins with a consideration of tradition in a changing world and is well aware of the need to confront the all-too-common perception that "tradition" is nowadays irrelevant. On the basis of his profound knowledge of the Western philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle through Augustine, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, and Descartes, to modern Existentialism and Marxism, Pieper is able to highlight the values established - and challenged - down through the (...) centuries. He sees the need to re-examine these values, to rid them of the false interpretations and misunderstandings that threaten to consign them to oblivion. He attempts to restate them in language which, in fact, not only reflects the clarity of his mind but also expresses his conviction that these values, freshly examined and understood, provide a sound basis for healthy living and for our survival against the dangers that pose a serious threat to the very existence of Western civilization. He illustrates these values by examining the contrast between an exponent of them, like Socrates, and an opportunist, like the Sophist Protagoras; between the man of principle and the nihilistic pragmatist. The book consists of a mixture of articles and speeches, produced by a man who, though often wooed by the academy, was not concerned with achieving personal status as an academic professor. He insisted, for the most part, in combining purely academic teaching with the education of teachers in teacher-training colleges. He would not be removed from close contact with "learners," and he remained a "learner" himself - from tradition. (shrink)