Read How You Want, (2007)
EasyRead Large Print, in 16 Point Font
Genre: Philosophy, Classics
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - February 9, 2010
Why is it important for even average people to know about the ancient philosopher Aristotle? It is necessary to realize that there are two approaches to life; one worldview follows the fourth century BCE Greek philosopher Plato, while the other is based on his disciple Aristotle. Plato's view is somewhat mystical and impractical. "Good" is what corresponds to some otherworldly item. If one's behavior resembles the otherworldly behavior it is good, otherwise it is bad. If a chair is like the otherworldly chair, it can be called a chair. How is this helpful? Unfortunately, and this is the vital point, most religions have followed the amorphous, impractical, non-informing Platonic view. This approach to life has not helped humans improve themselves and society. Aristotle, in contrast, was a pragmatist, a scientist, a clear intelligent observer of the world, people and society. He based his ideas and behavior on what could be proven. Thus, a chair is an item that can be used to sit on. Good behavior is what promotes and improves a person's well being; specifically, habits of action that are performed according to the "golden mean," not tending to an extreme of avoidance or its opposite. People should not starve themselves or overeat. Proper charity is not stinginess, nor is squandering a sizable part of one's wealth. Once this practical Aristotelian worldview is understood and once people realize that they must use their intelligence and not rely on the ideas of the past, they will live a better, be healthier, and have a more complete and satisfying life; and practice their religion as it should be practiced, with active productive behavior, not ascetic passivity.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.