Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-bjz6k Total loading time: 0.436 Render date: 2022-05-24T02:51:26.956Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

5 - Contemplating divine mind

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2010

Andrea Nightingale
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
David Sedley
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Get access

Summary

This essay is a bit of bronze in exchange for the gold of Tony Long's conversation, teaching, and especially friendship over the past quarter century.

For both Plato and Aristotle, the doctrine of becoming like god is one of the outcomes of the inquiry into the question that matters most to us humans, namely the question of how one ought to live one's life. This is the most practical of questions for both Plato and Aristotle, involving how we manage our affairs, order our desires and choose our actions with the aim of living the best life possible, namely, a happy life. For both, becoming like the divine as much as possible is one way of describing the nature of human happiness. Striving to be like, or better modeling ourselves on, the divine mind is one way of expressing what we humans do in trying to realize our happiness, whether or not we are aware of our striving to achieve this. What thus begins as the most human of inquiries threatens to end with the recommendation that we should flee what is human in order to be something else, i.e., divine. I will refer to this as the “flight interpretation.” Indeed many readers of Plato have concluded that the search for happiness leads the philosopher to turn his/her back on the mundane world and eschew practical activity as much as possible. Not a few readers of Aristotle find that ultimately he recommends a similar outcome.

Type
Chapter
Information
Ancient Models of Mind
Studies in Human and Divine Rationality
, pp. 75 - 96
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
3
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×