Temporary Madness, by David Carlin

Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation: Jesus Revealed Himself Again to the Disciples
April 9, 2021
Republicans Who Can’t Oppose Child Mutilation Should Get Out Of Office, by Joy Pullmann
April 9, 2021

Aristotle by Justus van Gent (aka Joos van Wassenhove), c. 1476 [Musée du Louvre, Paris]. Justus painted 28 panels for the palace study of Federico da Montrefeltro, Duke of Urbino. His Aristotle and 13 others in the series are now at the Louvre.

By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, April 8, 2021

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.


David CarlinI was in college when I first learned about Aristotle’s famous dictum that virtue (or moral excellence) is a mean – I suppose we may call it a “golden” mean – between the two extremes of “too much” and “too little.”  Courage, for instance, is a mean between cowardice on the one hand and foolhardiness on the other.  And generosity is a mean between stinginess and profligacy.  And so on.

Well, my reaction on hearing this was not to admire Aristotle for his wisdom; rather it was to think less of him because, it seemed to me, he was doing no more than stating the obvious.  “Who doesn’t know this?” I thought to myself.  I had previously heard of Aristotle.  …