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...preamble to the total history of philosophy. And history, as men of you know by their own attitude, in -- if they are honest to themselves, history is despised in this country. History is bunk.

Now there are two -- nations in antiquity who have left in -- as their national history something that is not history. One are the prophets of Israel and the other are the philosophers of Greece. And to call a course "History of Greek Philosophy" is misleading, to say the least, in this environment in which you happen to live, because it is not a history, as a history of ancient Gr- -- ancient Gr- -- Egypt, or of modern United States, or of the art in the modern -- in the United States, which would be a difficult thing to write, anyway. But "philosophy" is another word for "Greek," and "Greek" is another word for "philosophy," in our modern life. When I say, "This man is a Greek," I mean he's a philosophical mind. And when I ma- -- I can turn this around, too. I have often -- used in letters -- written to friends in the correspondence of my life this expression, "Greek" and "philosopher," interchangeably. The Greeks have not only created philosophy, but they have been absorbed by philosophy. The Greeks are philosophers, just as the Jews are the prophets. The Jews are represented by Isaiah and Jeremiah, whether they like it or not. There is nothing more -- Moses was the first prophet, and Malachi was the last. And Ju- -- prophecy is Judaism, and Judaism is prophecy, and if it isn't, then we don't care. Then it's nobody's business to dabble with. The Jews outside the prophetic tradition are as in- -- uninteresting as the Sioux, or the Apaches. They are only interesting fo- -- because they are the prophets. And the Greeks are not interesting except for having been the philosophical nation.

So you see, that to say -- speak of the history of Greek philosophy is really saying twice the same thing. The only thing that interests -- in Greece is philosophy. And what it entails. And it entails much more than you think. It entails, of course, a tragedy. It entails Homer. It is the Greek spirit. That is philosophical.

We shall see that this is the real problem of your own day, gentlemen. If you want to survive as Americans, you have to get something you don't have. Something of this Greek philosophical mind. This is the most unphilosophical country in the world today. So it's -- quite foreign to you. You have no access to Greece -- to the Greek mind at this moment, although you think you have. Nobody thinks in this country for himself.

Because philosophy, gentlemen, has two further qualities. And the Greeks had two further qualities. One is that philosophy is for the few and not for all.

That's against the American tradition. Everything has to be for everybody. Philosophy isn't. It's not for the slave. It's not for women. It is not for the athlete. It is not for everything you are. It's not for the man who -- wants to make money. You can't be a philosopher and become rich.

It's very disagreeable, gentlemen, to say this from the beginning. I hope that one-half of you will sign out of this course, at the end of this lecture. That would be a triumph. The second thing is that you all try to make life easier. And it is a recommendation if people say that life can be made, by buying a Cadillac, more comfortable, or a refrigerator, or a television. It's nicer. The -- Greek -- philosophy makes things more difficult. If you wound the clock -- make the clock run down, the weights of the clock -- philosophy tries to wind them up. To wind life up, gentlemen, make it more difficult, obviously is hard. It's not easy.

What is sold to you as philosophy on the marketplace, gentlemen, in this country is not philosophy. Of course, the word "philosophy" today is turned into its opposite and it means that every coun- -- -body can think as he pleases, that it is easy, that it makes you win friends, and become rich quick. And not -- don't pay taxes by being clever. That has nothing to do with philosophy. It certainly has nothing to do with the Greek mind. The Greek mind has developed an -- an attitude by which the few try to wind up the clock, which in the process of history always tends to run down. America at this moment is totally run down. It has no future. It has no prophecy. It has no promise. It has no philosophy. It just exists by prosperity, which is the opposite of life. Your whole election here in this country is fought on nothing. No issue. No question. And certainly no future for America. Just the next year. Will the boom go on?

Gentlemen, do you think that a great nation would have such an attitude? It's the total absence of philosophy in the year 5- -- 1956 which I think makes it very questionable whether a course on philosophy, as it was created, is reasonable here. Just as it is very unreasonable to teach about the Jewish prophets in a time when the people do not like to hear that they are doomed. That's -- prophets of doom, again. Doom and prophecy go together. Difficulty and philosophy go together, gentlemen. Well, philosophy has to do with the extraordinary thought, which -- the unusual thought, which -- that which goes against the trend.

I once had dinner here with the then-dean of the college. He grew despondent and took his life later, as is usual today in modern America, middleaged people, because they have nothing to live for, so they take their life. And a few years before he did this, he had dinner with us somewhere else. And my wife was next to -- seated next to him, and he said, "How can your husband do and teach these things?"

She said, "Why not? Aren't they true?"

"Yes," he said. "But they are against the trend."

And she said, "That's just why he teaches them."

And he was flabbergasted. Has never forgiven me for that. You cannot say anything in this country which is against the trend. Five years ago there -- everybody here was talking about war against Russia. It was imminent. I s- -- forget. There were three students, like you, standing in the Indian Bowl next to me. And they said, "World war is coming."

And I said, "No. There is no war coming. There won't be a war with Russia."

And they let me stand and fled off -- as though I had -- was pest-ridden, you see. I could infect them with this heresy. Well, there was no war. You mustn't say anything against the trend on this campus.

The strange thing of a philosopher is, gentlemen, certainly that he is the embodiment of saying something against the trend. And he says it as a minority. So I com- -- sum up once more, philosophy is the power of the few to go against the trend.

Now as to the history of Greek philosophy: since the Greeks embody philosophy, and if you speak of a philosopher, you think -- of whom would you think of a philosopher, first place? Give me some names.


Plato, first.


Aristotle. More?


Socrates. More? Anybody else?


Ja. Our friend Lucretius, and -- because it's on the book -- list, yes. Pytha-

goras, I think you also know from his unfortunate mathematical discovery.

Now they are all Greek names. Or they are people who have adopted Greek civilization like Cicero, and Seneca, and Lucretius, the Romans. Or they are Jews like Philon of Alexandria who wrote in Greek and tried to reconcile his Jewish religion with his Greek philosophy. But the contribution of the Greek element in everybody's education is always philosophy. Even in our modern times, gentlemen, every school in America, which tried to rid itself of Greek influence, had a Greek name. The most famous one, which of course in the eyes of a Greek wouldn't be philosophy, is pragmatism. It's a Greek word, you see. Knowing by doing, it means, pragmatism, you see. And only as long as I do something shall I believe it. If I don't do it, I shall not believe it. That's pragmatism. Pragma is Greek. It comes -- has to do with -praxis, -practic, practical. It's a Greek word.

All words which you use in your thinking, gentlemen, are Greek. The word "philosophy" itself, and the word "idea," and on it goes. And where there is -- the word "physics," of course, the word "physiology." And where there is not a Greek word directly, gentlemen, which is helpful -- "theology," for example, is Greek, you see. But instead of "physiology," we unfortunately say today "natural science." So that's a Latin word. But that's cor- -- translated from the Greek, purely, and is a misunderstanding. The Latins were such poor philosophers; whenever they translated a Greek word, they made nonsense. They committed a faux -- mistake.

So w- --- you all, who use the word "nature," as though you understood what it meant, bandy around a word with -- any -- without any meaning. I take it for granted, gentlemen, and you all use the word "nat-" -- "nature" and "natural," but I also know that no -- not one of you knows what he means when he says "nature." Not one of you has any natural or normal meaning for "nature." It's just one of these trite words which you bandy around in order to confuse the issue.

You even think that you are natural. You, the most unnatural people in the world. Yes, you think that you are natural. There's nothing natural about a Dartmouth student. It's the hybrid product of a dying civilization.

But even if I say "hybrid," I use a Greek term. All the terms of philosophy are to this day Greek, or as I said, Latin translations of the Greek. There is no English -- Anglo-Saxon root in philosophy. Take the word "object" and "subject." That's Latin misunderstood -- -standing the Greek. Same true about the word "ma-" -- "materialism," or -- which plays such a -- or "economy," you see, "economic materialism," or "historical materialism." All these terrible words which we bandy around when we fight the Cold War, they are all of Greek


For this reason, the history of Greek philosophy was found necessary in modern -- the last 2,000 years to enable us to get behind our own notions, and our own terms. So gentlemen, the history of Greek philosophy is like a -- visit to the tool manufacturer, whose tools we need in making motors. And it is very good to go to Springfield, Vermont, and go to Mis- -- the -- Mr. -- what's the ba- -- big firm there?

(J and L.)


(J. and L. J. and L. Jones and Lampson.)

Jones and Lampson, yes. And to -- to see what -- how these machineries which make machines, or -- which work -- in -- in other factories are made.

The Greek philosophy -- the history of Greek philosophy then, gentlemen, has a practical purpose: to enable us to free -- yourselves from the accident of your usage in your mind. You use all ter- -- kind of nonsensical words. If I hear an Amer- -- American student anywhere, but especially at Dartmouth, use these terms "object," and "subject," and "concrete," and "abstract" all come from the Greek, and "infinitive," I know you misun- -- that you -- misunderstand them. I mean, you all know that in this college, nine-tenths of the students misunderstand "concrete" and "abstract" and use it in the opposite sense. In the wrong sense, I mean.

You can only understand this by going back to the creators of these -- this terminology. And I treat this course therefore for you as a course of emancipation, a course to get rid of your slogans, of your detritus, of the -- dead words, dead terms, dead notions, dead concepts which you bandy around, because gentlemen, I think we can't afford any longer to be simply blindly dependent on the Greek usage, on the Greek terminology. And if we want to become the equals of the Greek, as we have to now, for the first time in history, we must free ourselves from the accidental Greek dress which we still wear, you see. But it is so worn out that they have no longer the fresh meaning of the -- in the Greek situation, you see. But they are useless for us.

I think we are in exactly the Greek situation of the beginning when Greek philosophy became necessary. But for this very reason, I recommend to you this history of Greek philosophy as an attempt to reploice -- replace the obsolete, merely inherited traditional Greek terminology -- replace it by your own find-

ings, by a therm- -- terminology which will fit our shoe exactly as philosophy fitted the Greek shoe. Obviously, if we want to have a modern man's philosophy, we must not speak Greek, because the Greeks did not speak Egyptian, but Greek. And it is to me, therefore, as though you would speak Egyptian if you now tried to carry on 3,000 years of -- of -- verbiage. There is such a layer of dust, and patina, and rust on all these terms, you see, that the val- -- their value may be shown in the history of Greek philosophy in the -- at the -- but at the same time, we will feel the need of retranslating them, so to speak, into our terms. Can you see this?

Therefore, please accept my definition of this course then, gentlemen, as an effort to emancipate ourselves from the accidental tradition of the Greek thought, or Greek philosophy, and to get at its lasting, original approach, enable us to be as original as the Greeks. That's the at- -- ma- -- the attempt that must be made in any such history. If we can equate your and my situation today in the world at large with the Greek situation, we will be as good philosophers as they were. If you, however, just let this hang around, as slogans from grammar school and high school around your neck, you will perish. Because gentlemen, undigested Greek philosophy makes un- -- disenables men to live, because it institutes a separation of mind and body, which -- from onanism to homosexuality, to the enslavement of the other -- other races, to the deprivation of women, and to mob rule, destroys your whole society.

A Greek mind misunderstood, gentlemen, leads to all the perversities that surround us today. The -- there's a strange reason, gentlemen, for this, which the Greek philosophers expressed with this very simple se- -- sentence: that the corruption of the best was always the worst. The corruption of the best is the worst. Perhaps you take down this notion. And -- since philosophy is a very good thing, if you corrupt it, it corrupts you totally.

The Latin phrase of this -- who kno- -- has -- has anybody in this class learned Latin by any chance? Who has? Not one? Ja, that's one of these notions of -- you had it, so you don't have to have it. Isn't that right?

This is a good maxim, gentlemen. And it is: Corruptio optimi pessima. Gentlemen, if you corrupt a young man, it's bad enough. If you corrupt a virgin, it is terrible. That is, a good girl is a great -- greater masterpiece of nature than a man. If you corrupt her, you see, the corruption is worse.

Now here you have a typical sentence of the great times of Greek philosophy, gentlemen. This sentence, as you can see, applies to all fields of life: to things, to people, to -- to our beliefs, to institutions. The greatness of this sentence, Corruptio optimi pessima, the corruption of the best leads always to the

worst corruption, you see. If you corrupt here this desk, well, it's just an ugly desk. If you misshape -- misshape Sanborn Hall -- as it is misshaped -- if you enter it, you see, you -- you run against the -- the newel there, but it -- what does it matter? I mean, it's just Sanborn Hall. So a -- an ugly building is -- it's a pity, but not much harm is done, you see. If you are corrupted, gentlemen, very much harm is done. As I said, if a mother of a family is corrupted, the world comes to an end.

Therefore, the greatness of these first philosophical traditions of the human race is that they are valid for what you call "nature," for society, for religion, for law, for art. They have a validity, which your little sentence, 2 and 2 is 4, has not; 2 and 2 is 4 is just true for -- for things, gentlemen, for dead things. In a good company, gentlemen, you cannot number the people, you see. A -- a crowd may be reduced to 2 and 2, maybe, when they are really friend- -- friendly parties, like the Democrats and Republicans, but just -- you see, there are millions, but there are just two. Their numbers just disappear.

Well, you don't know this, but your mind, gentlemen, is cluttered with departmentalization. All the truths which you have are only applying either to buttons, or to people, or to motors, or to one definite little field of life or the other. All philosophical thought, gentlemen, has an infinite number of applications. I only want you -- give you this example to now make a second distinction: what philosophy is not. Philosophy is not a science, because any science divides reality in people, in things, in plants, in animals, in iron -- metals, and minerals, in chemicals or -- or -- or -- or waves. That is, all science deals with subdivisions of reality. Philosophy states which subdivisions of reality are to be made, and which are wrong, or which are limited, or which have to go. Philosophy goes against the trend. Science is the trend.

You are all under the trend. You think psychology, or psychoanalysis today, or biochemistry, or psychosomatics. Oh! You run -- existentialism, you see. Philosophy sits back and said, "What a fad," see? And says it is a fad. And every time has its fad, and you are the victims of this fad.

A philosopher is not the victim of a fashion. This country, however, prides itself that in September that's one philosophy and next October Life will come out with the next philosophy. And if it isn't Life, it's Reader's Digest.

So gentlemen, philosophy is this side of the division of your language, of your inherited little department store of your mind. Your whole mind is subdivided. It's like a desk with innumerable drawers. You think that all plants are -- come under the authority of botanists. Now any poet of course laughs off this and says, about plants, "I, the poet, who give the rose to his sweetheart, know

much more than all the botanists of the world put together." But you don't believe this, gentlemen, because you mistake expensive flowers for beautiful flowers. You believe that if you spend more money on flowers, they are prettier. They're only pretty if you have picked them -- yourself. And anything you -- carry to Mr. Porter is just so much wasted money, for your gardenia, because you relate flowers to money.

That's just as bad as relating flowers to the microscope. Both is not -- not important. Flowers have nothing to do with botanists, and they have nothing to do with the -- Mr. Porter on Main Street. But for you, that's the only relation you know about flowers. You know that you have to spend on a weekend so many dollars, otherwise the girl isn't satisfied. Well, she is not a girl, anyway, if she is not satisfied. She should only be satisfied if you have picked the flower. That's the only reason why you should -- she should appreciate it. Not because you pay money for it.

But you are totally corrupt, gentlemen, because you have sub- -- subdivided your life already into the financial department, where you are running into debt, and into the scientific department, where you look up how many -- how many leaves the -- the flower has, and where it is classified away in the system. And that's what you call your relation to -- to plants. You have no normal relation to a plant, gentlemen. Philosophy tries to restore your immediate relation to plant life. And what is this relation -- to a plant, gentlemen, which you may use to express your affection for a young lady? What is this situation, gentlemen, before a man has subdivided his relations to the outer world into these tidy compartments? This is, as I said, science, and this is finance, and this is trade, and this is business, and that's politi- -- and that's family, and that's society, and that's -- that's news, and so -- et cetera. That's how you live. But the normal person, gentlemen -- that's why I think you are unnatural -- is not satisfied with these divisions. And the -- philosopher thinks he is normal -- or he tries to restore the norm.

There is one quality in the -- in philosophy, gentlemen, which I would like to mention today already to warn you: that in sci- -- in science you can learn something. In philosophy you cannot. Philosophy has nothing to do with things, because we do not even know if there are things. Perhaps all this is just the skin around my body. Perhaps this is all me. There have been philosophers who have said the whole universe is just one big person. That's -- just as reasonable as to deny it, you see. All these nice divisions, because you are sitted -- seated here on your fannies, and don't care for the rest of us, may lead you into total blindness, because a -- a man who cannot identify himself with the rest of the world probably will never understand the world. You cannot understand the world by sitting back. If you are not part and parcel of the universe, you will have no idea what

it's all about.

Well, philosophers don't know this. They know nothing. As a matter of fact, we'll see that the first Greek philosophers were very much bent on -- on finding out about nothing. What nothing is. What is nothing? Because before can you say what something is, you better look -- watch out what's the opposite of it. Something -- nothing, you see. What is nothing? You all think you know. You have no idea.

Gentlemen, the sense which the philosopher tries to cultivate in us is the sense of wonder. Now there are three senses of wonder. And you have lost two of them totally. And therefore you do -- can hardly be expected to understand Greek philosophy. There is a sense of wonder about something, out- -- outside of me and you, here. I wonder that I have been admitted to teach at this college. They didn't know what they were doing. I wonder. I wonder: there I wonder about other people and their doings, gentlemen. I can also wonder that this earth is supporting 2 billion people, feeding them, clothing them, and allowing them by and large to coexist for now -- quite a number of thousands of years. Because as I know people, they begrudge each other's existence. They are all full of envy, and greed, and hatred, and jealousy, and mis- -- suspicion especially; and suspicion beg- -- begets anxiety; and anxiety begets murder. Therefore, why don't we kill -- each other all, just for security reasons, like Mr. Stalin at the end of his life, for -- simply because he was so afraid, you see. He had to see somebody die every day to make sure that he himself could still live on. That happens. Persecution mania is a very, very widespread phobia.

So -- I wonder. I wonder that in the long run we have managed to be at peace. And gentlemen, don't get this talk in -- in the -- in the newspapers wrong. I mean, they talk about war, but we should talk about the miracle that we are -- have no -- that we don't -- are -- are not at war. That's much more miraculous. It's -- with a sense of wonder that I see that this overpopulated earth is at peace at this moment. The have-nots have waged the last war. The Germans, the Italians, and Japanese. According to all the laws of Darwinism, they should have won the war, because they have nothing, we have too much. So why didn't they get it? You see, that's Darwinism. See, struggle of -- for existence. No, we put them down. So the Japanese have nothing to eat. And the Germans have prosperity. And the Italians are the best of all because they are very industrious and frugal people, and they have real faith. And they have come out as the moral winners of this war, I feel. They are the only nation which has grown in size over the last 30 years. We have diminished. The Italians have grown. They are great people. Nobody speaks of them, because they are so great that they are overlooked. They are much greater than the Russians; and much greater than the Japanese; and certainly much greater than the Americans. Because they are a poor country, and

they have grown, without any assets.

Have you -- who has been to Italy over the last five years? Well, haven't you found them a very splendid people, or not? Wie?

({ }.)


({ }.)

Where did you go?

(Rome. { }.)

Well, I only say this because you have -- all clich‚s from -- inherited, so that the WASPS are no good, you see, and the French are good. This is one of these standardized slogans in this country, but obviously the French are no good and the Ital- -- the WASPS are very good today. And the -- all the American tradition is the other way around. Because you live by clich‚, without any sense of wonder, you cannot perceive the world afresh. You have just inherited certain superstitions. Not by your own effort you have, but just that's the clich‚ in this country, you see, that all the -- the -- that France has to be supported through thick and thin, through our wrong foreign policy.

Now the sense of wonder can also apply, gentlemen, to the man who says something. In Greece, and in Greek philosophy, the man who is a philosopher is admired, is wondered at, is a cause for astonishment. The most common expression in the dialogues of the philosophers of antiquity is the -- that he is a man who speaks -- who says something, like Socrates, is addressed as "You Astonishing One." And that is very important, because it is exactly the same linguistic root as "wonder for things." Not only is the world a wondrous world, as in Prospero's Tempest, but also the man who says the truth about this world is a cause for wonderment.

And I therefore would like you to note this: the topic of philosophy is wonderment, and it is wonderment in three aspects: wonderment about the man who philosophizes; wonderment about the people to whom he turns for instruction, or for information, or for judgment, or for affection, or for -- social -- intercourse; and the things which are needed for these people to live on, to live with. If you do not understand this threefold sense of wonder, gentlemen, you cannot be a philosopher. And since in America people have -- the only sense they have left out of the sense of wonder is curiosity, and quiz kids, and $64,000 questions,

which excludes wonder, which is just "Information, Please," there is no philosophy in this country, gentlemen. There is just a little bit, factual knowledge.

Science is dealing with facts. Philosophy is cultivating our sense of wonder. That is, in this moment, for example, I'm dissatisfied with all the sciences, because I think that they are not dealing with the most wondrous facts. They haven't discovered them, yet. So any philosophy, gentlemen, begets sciences and puts them to work on the next stage of wonderment. When we have -- you see, all the sciences of today taken together, they will not cover your or my real riddle of existence at this moment. Take the racial question. Take this future of -- of the globe. What shall we do with the globe -- with the problem of -- of Mars or moon, with the problem of sex? There are no sciences which really cope with this satisfactory. Any philosophy today therefore will say: this, this, this, sense of wonder hasn't been cultivated. All sciences, gentlemen, turn to a special theme of wonderment of a philosopher, and all philosophers create new senses of wonder. That's why they make life more difficult, because if -- the way you live, you live without wonderment. You think that the Dartmouth Bookstore is a bookstore. I wonder.

For the last 20 years, serious people on this campus have given much thought to this fact that we have no bookstore. They could sell -- just as well sell herrings. And probably the herrings would be better than the -- the books. We have no bookstore, gentlemen; which is a scandal. We have no horse stable. We have no fencing master. We have many things wh- -- not which we should have. The reason why we don't have a bookstore is because the -- the previous owner of the bookstore lost his fianc‚e to the president of the college then, and so the president of the college felt he should at least let the poor boy should have his bookstore, because he didn't keep his wife.

So -- well, that's not a good reason for your having no bookstore here. And that's now antiquated, I think; belongs to ancient philosophy. Well, gentlemen, it's a scandal that this town has no bookstore. It's just unbelievable. You -- but of course, you don't read, anyway. This is not a bookstore. If you would, at the end of this course, understand why this is not a bookstore, you would have learned something.

I'll tell you why it isn't a bookstore. A bookstore begins with selling one book to one person, and a book this person wants. This bookstore will not order a book unless 25 people order it. And if I put an order into this bookstore, they say, "Oh, I have to wait till I can order more books from this same publisher." That is, they treat reading as a wholesale business, like steel, or wool, or something, you see -- inanimate. Now books of course are meeting with real, living people, and since they are not -- { } since they are not masters of ceremonies

introducing me to -- to Aristotle, you see, they are not a bookstore. They're just funny. And they are really criminals on the college, because they prevent your making this -- these contacts, these social contacts which are much more important than meeting another 2,900 -- I won't say what.

So then, gentlemen, there have be- -- there has been a very fine graduate of this college, an alumni -- alumnus, who came to this town in order to -- to create a bookstore. He was very rich -- he is very rich, and so he could have done it. And he was talked out of this. And he does other nice things for Dartmouth College at this moment. But the one thing he came -- set out to do, he was prevented from doing by the prejudice of this town, which has lost its sense of wonder about bookstores. And just the routine, and the trend have won out and again we have no bookstore.

So will you kindly then -- take this definition of my course, gentlemen? The Greeks have cultivated the sense of wonder. And they have cultivated the sense of wonder with regard to the world, with regard to God, and with regard to man. What are the -- is fate, war, revolution, famine, death? What are all the powers that make our lives? I wonder. What are you? What am I? Who speaks, who begins to wonder himself? How wondrous that man can wonder. Even this is a reason for wonderment. And the third: what is all this around us? The earth, and the stars, and the air, you see. How wondrous. And this frontier between Vermont and New Hampshire on the other side of the river: how strange. You know that the frontier between Connecti- -- the -- New Hampshire and Vermont is not the middle of the Connecticut River -- but on the other side. That's unique in -- in all geography, in all history, in all political boundaries. The only case where the river is not separating the two states in its middle, but on one -- on one side. Do you know that? Wie? Well, these damned New Hampshire people have done this to us in Vermont.

So we have a definition, gentlemen. The history of Greek philosophy is the history of that institution which cultivates the sense of wonder. And it cultivates the sense of wonder with regard to those who wonder, with regard to the subjects to be wondered at, and with regard to the power which rules that we must wonder, that are the gods. It is our fate to wonder: what's fate? We wonder how strange people we are. And what to be -- is to be wondered at is again, you see, the riddle of the world.

So gentlemen, will you kindly, therefore, see why this course is so very top-heavy, and very difficult to teach? In America, in the last 50 years, the first heresy that has been taught is that philosophy, if it is to be any good, must be a science. Therefore, this country has no philosophy, because if it is a science, it is not philosophy. Science is dealing with something definite, you see. Philosophy

is stepping outside all the definitions already given, and finds out, you see, an infinity of causes for wonder which the existing definitions do not cover, or misplace, or misdefine, or -- mutilate, or wrench.

Therefore, the history of philosophy is the sequence of stations of wonderment, and of people who were impressive enough that they forced their contemporaries to give room for a new sense of wonder. And therefore, gentlemen, philosophy is always against the so-called youth of a country. You have this great prejudice that to be young means to be- -- -come wiser than the old. The old people you discard, and you think that just because you are born in a certain year, you must be more intelligent than the people of the year before, or 10 years earlier. This very -- wholesome prejudice keeps you so stupid, because wisdom, gentlemen, begins where age is of no help. Neither youth nor old age. An old -- man can be an -- an ass and an ox, and a young man can be the same. The -- the birth certificate is no guarantee for your being not obsolete. You can be just as obsolete as a Spaniard is today. America is perhaps already obsolete. We don't know. But certainly be -- the fact that you have been born, gentlemen, has absolutely nothing to do with your modernity. Because there are whole nations where many young people live, and yet the whole country is just obsolete.

But there is this first superstition, gentlemen, that history is obsolete because it is older than you. That's questionable. That's very questionable. I think that many ways of your mind, gentlemen, are obsolete. If I -- uncover the skull of a -- the average American high school product, I find that your categories -- your ways of thinking are all going back to the year 1750. This country is the product of the Enlightenment. And you are in my -- the Enlightenment to me is as dead as the dodo, is obsolete. And therefore most Americans, I think, are obsolete men, have-been men, as the Russians call them, because the Enlightenment is antiquated.

And it is this thesis, gentlemen, which makes this course so very difficult to teach, because the Enlightenment had recourse to the Greek philosophers, to prove its point that reason, that the human mind could dismiss all taboos, all laws between the generations, that the last generation was always the most intelligent, that progress was automatic, that you couldn't miss it, and that you could not lapse and fall from grace. That's why we lost the First World War. That's why we had to go to the Second World War, because people were quite sure that just by sitting on their fannies, they couldn't miss out on anything. It would just always go on further, better, better and bigger.

You know when the -- when the different nationalities set out to write a book on the elephant, the Englishman wrote the book, How to Hunt the Ele-

phant; and the German wrote a book, System- -- Systematic Place of the Elephant in Zoology, and the American wrote a book, Bigger and Better Elephants.

Because you are so sure that everything can be improved, gentlemen. But this idea, gentlemen, that everything can be improved, leads to the destruction of all the things where we have -- can hardly hope that they exist at all. Family relations cannot be improved. The important thing is that there are any family relations, and not divorce. If you get a divorce, out goes the family, you see. Therefore, the automatic belief in progress means, you see, that you think you all the time can improve the family until there is no family left.

All the things, gentlemen, that are brittle and frail, like a flower, that wither on the stem within five minutes, like my spirit or your spirit, that are endangered by ruin, and death, and illness, and depression, and -- they are so tender, you see, that your and my belief that they will exist automatically must lead to their destruction, because it takes every effort of our imagination and devotion to keep them alive. {So if you don't} water a plant, a forget-me-not, because you think that it must be more beautiful tomorrow, you will find no forget-me-not tomorrow; it will be dead, you see. You have to cultivate this, to keep it alive just 24 more hours, have you not? If you, instead of watering the plant, think that it will go on and be better tomorrow, there is just no plant left; there's no family left; there's no government left; there is no religion left; and that's how you have treated the human history over the last 50 years, gentlemen. You have taken it for granted that it will exist without your devoting yourself to its -- to its restoration. It will not.

Let us have a break here.

[tape interruption]

...material, so to speak, on which he draws. Then there is a collection called The Pre-Socratic Philosophers, by {Freeman}. Who has all these books already? Well, so these, gentlemen, are perhaps kin- -- do you have these books with you today? Who has? Nobody. Well, I hope -- you will show them to the others. That's very precious. It's just a collection of all the texts of this -- philosophers who preceded Socrates and whom we today think the -- were the greatest of all Greek thinkers. They -- they founded philosophy. They dis- -- they cultivated this sense of wonderment. The Pre-Socratic Philosophers.

Then there is the little booklet, like this, of Plato's five dialogues. Then there's Aristotle, Politics and Poetics in a cheap edition. And finally, there is from the -- end of the Greek antiquity the poem by Lucretius, the materialist, On Nature. Every American is, I think, more or less a Lucretian today. For the last

hundred years, Lucretius' philosophy has been more or less the philosophy of America. We'll -- shall start with reading Lucretius. And on this I will spend now the next half hour, to show you why the approach from the later times of Greek philosophy is the more sound approach than the -- to start with the archaic, first philosophers.

The history of Greek philosophy, gentlemen -- it can be divided roughly into 2,000 years, not quite -- from 800 B.C., that's Homer and the Olympian Games, the institution of the Olymp- -- { }. Does anybody know when the Olympian Games allegedly were instituted? One has to know this, because all Greek and Roman time -- chronology, time-tailoring was based on the first Olympian Games. Have you never heard of this? You should be intere- -- I -- {if you are} not even interested in Olympian Games, in what are you interested?

The Olympic Games were instituted in 776 B.C. So there the -- so to speak, rational history of Greece -- the post-mythological history of Greece begins. And it must be more or less contemporary with Homer, because Homer in The Iliad obviously alludes to the Olympic Games in a -- in a kind of snide -- sni- -- how do -- would you say? -- underhanded fashion, I mean. He -- disapproves of them. So 776 is an important date in the history of the human race, gentlemen. It's the awakening of the Greek history -- Greek people to their self-consciousness, to feeling that they have a history of their own. Before, everything is just part of Oriental history.

Now gentlemen, this first part of Greek history goes back -- goes on to 600. And that's the hi- -- prehistory of Greek philosophy. It is there wrestling with the Orient and with myth. From 600 to, by and large, the birth of Christ, or 50 after Christ, we may say, from -- begins this astonishing history of these wondrous people called "philosophers." The first whom we mention is Thales of Miletus. And it goes on to two non-Greeks: Cicero in Rome, and Philo in Alexandria. And -- here is a Latin and a Jew who fall under the spell of Greek thinking, and thereby show its omnipotence, its -- that whoever is a philosopher has to go Greek, so to speak, you see. If he wants to share the wonderment of the Greek mind, he rates -- enters the history of Greek philosophy. Cicero and Philo. And Cicero was -- has -- is said to have ed- -- edited this poem of Lucretius, which you -- we are going to read, because Lucretius died from something very human, from a philter of love, from a -- trying to -- to be either more potent, or -- arousing a lady's affections, we don't know. We have only this one sentence in an old father of the church, that Lucretius perished by drinking a philter of love, which makes your appetite, of course -- arouses your appetite to know a little bit more of this strange man. He died in 55 before Christ. So -- 12 years before Cicero. And Cicero seems to have edited his poem, as a -- because he was overtaken by this death unexpectedly.

Now gentlemen, this is the center part of the history of Greek philosophy, the original part. What we call Greek philosophy was, so to speak, produced in these 600 years. The times from 800 to 600 we have to speak of as preparatory, as putting the problem, that always one man should carry the ball and develop, recultivate this sense of wonder. This -- after all a strange thing. In -- in our times, you find in this country that nobody tries to develop any sense of wonder.

From 6- -- from the birth of Christ to 529, gentlemen, we get a third period of the Greek -- history of the Greek philosophy: Greek philosophy competing with Christianity. Now all this period is the period best known to us, because our source material is very rich for this later part, and most of the doctrines of Greek philosophy have really come to us in this garb of -- of contemporary teaching -- with Christianity. So that's from 50 A.D. to 529. In 529, gentlemen, the Academy in Athens was closed, and that was the end of an independent Greek, philosophical tradition. You have to know this. 529 is a most important year. By and large at the same year was introduced our Greek -- our Christian calendar, the counting of eras. In 534, the first man wrote a book -- A.D. Five hundred years this took, you see, before the Christian era, you see, was established.

I mention this because it is interesting that the Islam -- era came into being shortly afterwards. And the Jewish era, too. The Jews -- the Christian era was created at this time when the Greek mind went out of existence, so to speak. The Jewish era was created in competition with the Christian era, at the end of the 6th century of our -- own era. And then the Mohammedan, as you know, is the third. They were all created about the same time.

So this ver- -- very dark century, gentlemen, from 529 to 622 should become a little more interesting to you when you consider that the -- the reckoning of time was the creation of this era. When you read about the Jewish New Year, this year in the -- when is it, this year? Who knows?

(It was.)

Is already over? When was it?

(The 18th.)

And which year was it?


Well, that's an invention of the 6th century of our era. Nobody ever thought of this -- counting this manner before. And it was done in -- in replica

and in antithesis to the Christian counting. First comes the Christian counting, then came the Jewish counting, and then came the Islamic counting. And I think that's quite important for you to know.

Well, at that time, gentlemen, when the people eliminated the pagan antiquity and only had a Christian and a Jewish counting, Greek philosophy fell dead to the ground. That goes together, of course, you see. They wanted to eliminate the Greek strand of our life. And from 529 to the days of Charlemagne, to the -- take perhaps the year 1800 -- 827, the death of the Scotchman, the greatest philosophy of these early days, first great Scotchman, John the Scotch, or Eriugena, probably born in Ireland, John Scotus, was the last philosopher in Christian garb, of {grave} -- greatness of ancient caliber.

So we have -- Greek philosophy competes with Christianity from 50 of our era. The first man in this line is Seneca. And then comes the so-called neo-Platonists, and the neo-Pythagoreans, all the words with "neo," that is, new, belong into this time -- era from 50 to 529. And from 529 to 877, Greek philosophy has to dress up as Christian in order to live. And we have two great names there, whom you must put down in your -- in your -- in your notes: the famous Areopagite, Dionysius the Areopagite, usually just quoted "the Areopagite," who wrote about 500 -- a little later or a little earlier, we don't know, and who's a forgery. The -- these poor philosophers had to feign that they were written by a Christian author in order to be tolerated at that time, because their schools, you see, had lost their -- their authority, their freedom of teaching. And the same is true of John Scotus. So I put these two names down: John Scotus Eriugena. And Eire, as you know, is the official word for Ireland. And he dies probably at the end of the 9th century, supposedly in 877.

We have four -- periods of this history of Greek philosophy then, gentlemen: a prehistory of at least 200 years from Homer to the first explicit philosopher; then we have the classical period from 600 A -- B.C. to 500 -- 50 A.D. Then 500 years of competition with Christianity, and then 300 years of hiding inside or under the cloak of Christianity.

Now why do I say then that it is useful to go backward? As you see, this Greek philosophy comes out of a Homeric and Oriental age. Then the philosophers get in their -- on their own. They attract even the Jews and the Romans to a certain extent. Then they have to go in hiding. They have to compete with the new force of life, Christianity, the Church, theology. And finally they are not even allowed to call themselves philosophers, you see. They have to pose as though they were themselves Christian thinkers.

So gentlemen, they went underground, so to speak, at the end. And they

came from underground. And they were rediscovered, gentlemen, backward. You may know that the first ancient thinker who was rediscovered was St. Augustine, who comes at the end of the competitive {period} where philosophers compete with the Greek -- you see, with the Christian spirit. St. Augustine's pagan, or philosophical, writings were first read in the Middle Ages.

So the story, gentlemen, of your and my relation to this -- to this thing is very strange. Here you have the march of -- in ti- -- through time, in this direction. That's Greek philosophy historically. But if you look backward, this would be then from 1776 to A. -- A.D. -- B.C. to 877 A.D. Now if you look however at the Americans, at the Europeans, at the Renaissance people, at the people who founded colleges like Harvard University or even Dartmouth College in the wilderness, these people looked at Greek philosophy from the end, backward. And first, they only were interested in the latest -- in the latest philosophers. I could -- let me put this name. I could also put of course the name of Areopagite. If you read a book on philosophy, let's say of the year 1500, they all know everything about these people, you see, and know very little of Plato or of Aristotle.

Still, as you know, the -- the great revolution in the Middle Ages was dealing with Aristotle. But nobody read Plato at that time. So the -- Plato was only read after 1450. So he was discovered much later than Aristotle, 300 years later he became popular. And in the 19th century, all people began to read the pre-Socratics, and there's a literature now on these pre-Socratics, you see, that you just can't get through, so much ink is spilled now on the Oriental influences on Greek philosophy and the beginnings of the Greek mind here. This book is most modern and fashionable, the pre-Socratic texts: Pythagoras, and Thales, and -- and -- { } Parmenides. The -- the leading propa- -- philosopher of Europe, Mr. Heidegger, is just Parmenides redi- -- redivivus. And Parmenides is much older than Socrates and Plato. And Par- -- Mr. Heidegger thinks that Plato and Aristotle are just obsolete, that the real McCoy is -- is Parmenides, you see, who lived a hundred years earlier.

Now that's very difficult for you to understand, because -- I know a young mathematician who told me that they wouldn't written anything that was written in mathematics and was older than 10 years ago. Of course, this man can never be a mathematician. But he can be a good American, because you also think that nothing that is 10 years old is worth reading, you see. In philosophy, it's the other way around, gentlemen. The history of -- the renewal of the philosophical spirit has gone -- has -- strangely enough been one of going backward.

I'll give you the dates. Aristotle in 1230 was such new stuff that the pope forbids its reading. In 1265, the poor pope had to recant. It's one of the great examples, where you see that the Roman church has always changed, but never

admitted it. You see, in 1230, no Aristotle allowed to be read in the schools. In 1265, Thomas Aquinas establishes his repu- -- his reputation, you see, by doing exactly the forbidden thing. That's why it's a different story, gentlemen, from being a Thomas Aquinas and today being a Thomist. Thomas Aquinas was a bold man. And a Thomist today is a timid sheep.

So Plato was read -- in 1448, the pope first asked for a translation of The -- of The Republic by Plato. Socrates was celebrated in a famous speech by Erasmus of Rotterdam, in 1550, where he s- -- invoked him as a saint. And he said, "Saint Socrates, come to our rescue."

So these figures, whom I -- which I put here -- the pre-Socratics, gentlemen, became famous in 1840. I should put this otherwise. Pre-Socratics. So the Greek spirit has been rediscovered, gentlemen, by going backward. The greatest influence on all our traditions therefore has come from the late Greek thinkers. And if -- when we read Lucretius first, I want to pay homage to this, our indebtedness, the way we came to be related to the Greeks. We did not beget the Enlightenment because people read Plato, or read the pre-Socratics, you see, but because we read the Stoics. And we read Lucretius. And therefore I told you that today we have to become as original as the Greeks. The Enlightenment, gentlemen, has absorbed the Greek mind in the wrong sequence, from the end backward. And my whole problem in this history is to make you aware of the strange result that must ensue when you absorb a foreign spirit, backward, you see.

And so I think I should open your mind to this strange connection with Greece which we have entertained here in the last 400 years in the Western world by entering upon this, with a -- one example, you see. People -- our ancestors 300 years ago would first be influenced, you see, by the late Greek philosophers first, and not by the early ones. And if I would only now give you now a nice history of the Greek spirit, you would be bored.

I want to show you that we're really dealing with dynamite, that all these thinkers, gentlemen, have exerted a tremendous influence on our thinking. And on this I shall enlarge the next time right away. I shall show you that since we owe our first encounter with the Greeks -- philosophical spirit to a time in which Christianity already was there, the Greek spirit no longer had to be -- cover the whole ground of wonderment. It was a limited affair. It was just in competition with Christianity. Some parts of its own achievement, you see, were now represented by the Christian tradition of the Church. And therefore the -- the Greek, so to speak, was not needed for this.

I may perhaps make the following points, gentlemen. In the last two periods of the Greek spirit, of the Greek philosophy, another power, Christianity,

had guaranteed certain truths, which therefore were no longer looked for in and by the authority of Greek philosophers. One was the equality of men and women, Number 1, as souls. The Greeks had never assumed that. Greek philosophers assumed always that men had an absolute superiority. The injustice of slavery, or the indifference to slavery -- all Greek life was based on slavery. And slaves and free men were just not the same breed of people.

The third thing is, of course, that perversion of the sex was denied by Christianity as necessary for philosophy, or for the spirit, whereas the Greek philosophy was based on -- on homosexuality. All Greek philosophers were embedded in the tradition that the spirit of man could only be aroused sufficiently to think, by homosexuality, by some love relation between men and -- male and male. There are still colleges who believe this to this day, especially rampant -- frequent in England. But I am told there -- exist even here.

However, Christianity said no spirit that is based on such an annat- -- unnatural relation between teacher and student is worth having. And so gentlemen, there are certain rules, certain truths fundamental to all -- you -- of you and me who are dealing now with Greek philosophy, which the Greeks never knew in their high -- heydays. First, that philosophy cannot be based on slavery. Certainly it cannot be limited -- the highest the knowledge of -- of life cannot be limited to one sex. Third, it cannot be that sexual passion is needed to inflame man to think, to wonder, to get excited, so to speak. And what was Number -- wie? Well, there are -- perhaps I may add that the thinking was not in- -- dependent on any nationality, that the barbarians were just as much entitled to philosophize as the Greeks, that Greek had ceased to be the matrix, the necessary matrix of philosophy. Just as Hebrew ceased to be the necessary language for salvation, you see, so Greek ceased to be the necessary language for thinking.

The last point perhaps: all Greek thought acquiesced in war forever. There can be no world peace. Christianity has never -- said this -- had ac- -- has acknowledged that war exists, but the prophecy of Christianity certainly always has been that peace must ensue.

So gentlemen, from our -- in our own era, Greek philosophy has shrunk in area. Certain fundamental truths debated in Greek philosophy have been taken over in -- and decided by a -- a power which the -- superseded the Greeks and the Jews, by Christianity. The Enlightenment, gentlemen, denied this. It's my distinction -- by -- why I am -- not a member of the Enlightenment, why I do not date myself from Benjamin Franklin as you do, is that Benjamin Franklin didn't know this. He thought that the Greeks had, under their own steam, abolished perversity, homosexuality, slavery, equality of sex, and war -- and -- and peace. And -- the Enlightenment overlooked the contribution of Christianity and

thought that by mere reason, by mere philosophizing, you see, the Greeks had achieved all these wonderful ends themselves. And therefore, the -- all the books on Greek philosophy which you might -- could read today are worthless, because they are all based on this prejudice of journalism -- and secularism, and rationalism, as though the Greek mind had to achieve everything that Christianity has achieved.

If you follow this, gentlemen, we will plunge into the same dark night which is represented by nationalism and by Bolshevism. Bolshevism and Nazi- -- -cism are pure Greek mind, without -- mitigation by Christianity. You can say that Mr. Lenin has tried to realize Plato's Republic. He's a good Platonist. Because if you read The Republic, it is just as tyrannical, just as absolute as the Communist society, the classless society.

For the last 40 years, I have always felt that it is not right that American students are asked to read the laws by Plato, na‹vely, because in such an agnostic society as yours, where nobody tells you -- the difference between philosophy and Christianity, and where you even think that Christianity is a philosophy, of which it is the opposite, it is terrible. If you read these books on slavery -- when the Germans and the Russians read these books by Plato, they began to think that slavery after all was a good thing. So they have their slave-labor camps in Siberia. How can you wonder, if you feed yourself on Greek philosophy?

So I say once more, gentlemen, Greek philosophy is dynamite, if you read it out of context. And we cannot afford this. After two world wars, gentlemen, and after the -- all the Jews in Europe have been eradicated under the authority of Plato, and of -- the polis, the city-state, the national spirit, you see, and the greater power for Germany, or of the classless society, you must know that this philosophy is nothing lackadaisical, and it is nothing anemic. What you think, if you think at all, is the truth 30 years later. Where you think at all. This has never been true in America, gentlemen, because the colleges here are just of no importance in the national life. But in Europe, gentlemen, what people have thought and picked out of Greek philosophy in the last 300 years has become the political fact 30 years later in the life of the nations.

And I warn you, this course is not without its dangers. I think it is necessary for us to face up to the fact that all the slogans in our -- all our sciences are of Greek origin. All the political slogans are Greek. The word "politics" is certainly Greek. But my intent is not to make you into Greeks, gentlemen, but to make you into yourself by shaking your -- off the scales, the accidental Greek phrases which look so innocent, because they are Greek. But in part they aren't innocent at all, gentlemen.

Homosexuality, incest, all the horrible things of -- of Greek tradition, Oedipus complex, they are around us. Whether you take Mr. Mann, or Mr. Freud, or -- or Mr. Gide, you see. We have bred this spirit, you see, of pure Greek life to such an excess in the last 50 years that as you well know, Christianity has just -- has fallen by the wayside. And you cannot cure this by going to church, because most churches are just Greek. The just teach Greek stuff. The churches are no longer orthodox. They teach Aristotle, but not Christ. The Catholics. And the Lutherans teach Plato, the Protestants, but not Christ.

Everywhere in our churches, philosophy has -- acquired the government. I have heard many debats- -- -bates with good, alleged Roman Catholics where they only knew their Aristotle from Thomas, but they didn't know St. Paul and Christ. And they thought that when they quoted Aristotle to me, that they were good Christians.

You cannot fully understand this, gentlemen, but perhaps the queer story of how the Greek mind has been received by us, going backward, will warn you that today most so-called Roman Catholics are Greek philosophers. They are thinking in terms of Aristotle, and not in terms of Christianity. And in the same way in the Protestant tradition, they are all Platonists. And Bolshevism is, as I said, just another form of Platonism. Socialism.

So to me, therefore, that was the reason why I have never wanted to teach Greek philosophy. But this is the last year here in this college. And I thought, "Once, I would make an attempt to put the Greeks in their place," gentlemen. As I said, the Greeks are a great people. And the corruption of the best is the worst. And they have been corrupted. And I -- we must make an attempt to save their greatness, without their corruption.