After a magnificently bright sunrise against clear blue sky, sunshine has appeared and disappeared today. Bruce is at the counter today--when he needs to be; when things are quiet, he’s in one of the red leather reading chairs—so I’ve been able to get out for a couple of walks in the frigid January air. These girls outside the library with their prize icicles were having a good time.
I had a good time in the early afternoon, reading Aristotle down at the Treasure Chest over a hot chocolate. Explaining how it is that he can say a man becomes just by performing just actions (answering the objection, How could he perform just actions if he weren’t already just?), Aristotle wraps up by saying observing that “most people, instead of acting, take refuge in theorizing; they imagine that they are philosophers and that philosophy will make them virtuous; in fact, they behave like people who listen attentively to their doctors but never do anything that their doctors tell them. But a healthy state of the soul will no more be produced by this kind of philosophizing than a healthy state of the body by this kind of medical treatment.”
Talk is cheap, Aristotle is saying. And even the philosophers can’t get away with talk alone. It is because life demands action that ethics (for all its theory) is the practical branch of philosophy.
Big book news today is the Literate U.S. Cities list, with Minneapolis at the top. I was glad to see that Cincinnati made the top 10 bookstore cities. Chicago was on neither list, which is sad.