Interesting Quote

Right listening is the beginning of right living.

                                                       -Plutarch

Do you think this is true?  Why or why not?


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3 Responses to Interesting Quote

  1. Besides the fact that what Plutarch meant by ‘Right’ and the actions of ‘listening’ and ‘living’ being problematic, given that it raises anachronistic criticism of any attempt to give it meaning that we can interpret it to have.

    However, with that little ‘nota bene’ aside, What evidence is there that ‘Right Listening’ (which we can take as meaning ‘Right Thinking’ given the nature of this particular blog, therefore we can even go as far to say that the blogger here in question was imposing this quote on the basis that ‘Right Listening’ could be, mutatis mutandis, ‘Orthodoxy’) will lead to ‘Right Living’ (which, by using the same paracelsusian methods implicated in this blogger, we could make the move to say ‘Right Living’ = ‘Right Practice’ = ‘Orthopraxy’)?

    Orthodoxy, as history will show, has often led to very unjust, egoistic, and violent forms of living, or practice, from the Crusades to the Inquisition to the Reformation to the French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Termidor, WWI, WWII, etc, etc. This is not to suggest that Orthodoxy is always bad, but merely depends upon the Theology behind it. Basically, more Soren Kierkegaard and Paul Ricoeur, less Saint Augustine and Thomas Hobbes, will result in an Orthodoxy that is more personal and hermeneutical instead of dogmatic and debilitating. Ultimately though, I do not believe Orthodoxy will necessitate, from a Christian worldview, Orthopraxy as efficiently as say Kant’s Deontology.

    As for Orthopraxy, I think by reversing the Plutarch quote to say “Through [Orthopraxy] is the beginning of [Orthodoxy]” is more accurate of a picture, because many people who take up the Kantian, or lesser deontological variants of the same philosophy, will convert to Christianity (Here, Ricoeur’s notion of the ‘sieve of morality’ as being part of the teleological journey of the Subject, the Subject being Christian, is important; I’m sure you can find the Alain Badiou piece on this if you google it) or take up the Christian mission, well, weltanschauung because of the necessity of eschatology that the Christian ontology provides.

    Anyhow… This is just some random thoughts on this quote… I don’t think one can say it is right or wrong given the anachronism that will be inflicted upon the quote, thereby even in the anachronistic interpretations – without more emphasis on hermeneutics, our conclusions will never be conclusive (and even more so given Ricoeur’s Critical Hermeneutics and Caputo’s Radical Hermeneutics and the Hegelian implications of what ‘Right’ is).

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