Sorry, Plato, Aristotle, Et Al., But This Is What They Said

Over centuries, such enlightened minds as Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, right up to Bertrand Russell and Simone de Beauvoir, have pondered deep, interesting philosophical questions – representing, in fact, some of the most thought-provoking inquiries in all of human history.  However, this being the twenty-first century, emphasis has shifted from the philosophical to the pragmatic…and so, following are a number of current, regular-person, practical answers to the most intriguing of those queries: 

Q:  Bertrand Russell –  ”Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?”

A:  Nicole C. (Staten Island, NY) – “You can’t find a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan.”

Q:  Friedrich Schiller – ”But how is the artist to protect himself against the corruption of the age which besets him on all sides?”

A:  Roger F. (Hollywood, CA) – “Change agents.”

Q:  Leo Tolstoy – “How can one be well…when one suffers morally?”

A:  Dr. Martha D. (Minneapolis, MN) – “Regular checkups.”

Q:  Stobaeus – ”What use is knowledge if there is no understanding?”

A:  Charles P. (Las Vegas, NV) – “To show off.”

Q:  Alain de Botton – ”Must being in love always mean being in pain?”

A:  Frank D. (Westwood, NJ) – “Not if you marry a good cook.”

Q:  Simone de Beauvoir – ”What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the sleeping beauty?”

A:  Mike J. (Chicago, IL) – “Gigolo.  Or male stripper.”

Q:  Voltaire – ”What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he’s certain he’ll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?”

A:  Marvin H. (Washington, DC) – “Tell him his fly is open…then run like hell.”

Q:  Confucius – ”If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”

A:  Joyce B. (Queens, NY) – “The south Bronx, after midnight.”

Q:  Plato – ”Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?”

A:  Harvey B. (Akron, OH) – “Once when the dentist gave me sweet air.”

Q:  Herman J. Lec – ”If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?”

A:  Claire G. (Portland, ME) – “As long as he doesn’t touch poison ivy.”

Q:  Friedrich Schiller – ”Our age is enlightened… How is it, then, that we still remain barbarians?”

A:  Clarissa M. (Austin, TX) – “Tuition is too expensive.”

Q:  Friedrich Nietzsche – “What if God were not exactly truth, and if this could be proved? And if he were instead the vanity, the desire for power, the ambitions, the fear, and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind?”

A:  Father A. McNamara (Boston, MA) – “I’d have to change jobs.”

Q:  Aristotle –  ”It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: Of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge?”

A:  Joseph Rolis (Scranton, PA) – “Huh?”

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