I recently received an invitation from a local Ayn Rand club to attend their next discussion meeting. The topic: Aristotle. The readings: taped lectures by Rand disciple Leonard Peikoff and Peikoff disciple Robert Mayhew, as well introductory books by writers on the history of philosophy such as W.T. Jones, Jonathan Barnes, and John Herman Randall. Nowhere to be seen: readings from Aristotle himself! Given how harshly Rand criticized second-hand thinking (the working title for The Fountainhead was Second-Hand Lives), I'm amazed at how most Randians never read the actual texts of any philosophers they want to praise or blame, let alone take the time to read them in the original language.
I'm sorely tempted to start an Aristotle study group here in Denver to get some real learning and discussion going. You know, line-by-line readings of the Metaphysics and Nicomachean Ethics and such, with frequent reference to the Greek. Sounds like a blast to me! Naturally, the first thing I've thought of is a clever title: the Denver Aristotle Working Group or DAWG. In honor of the name, I'm now listening to jazz-grass mandolinist David Grisman's CD Hot Dawg. (And yes, I've already thought of similarly-named forum for mile-high Nietzsche studies: the Denver Area Nietzsche Group or DANG.) Now I just need to find people who might be interested in participating (too bad I'm now so far away from my friend Irfan Khawaja -- he'd be game). Well, scratch that. The first step is to hurry up and wait: I won't have even the semblance of time to start something like this until 2003. Sigh.
Once I get going on this, I suppose I'll contact professors interested in Aristotle or Greek philosophy at the local universities (such as Christopher Shields, Naomi Reshotko, and Gabriela Carone) to see if they or some of their students might want to participate.
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal