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MOBI ´ De consolatione philosophiae ´ Boethius

De consolatione philosophiaeHE CONSOLATION was written in the period leading up to his brutal execution It is a dialogue of alternating prose and verse between the ailing prisoner and his 'nurse' Philosophy Her instruction on the nature of fortune and A Rare And Varied ConsolationBoethius's The Consolation of Philosophy is a rare and unusual philosophical work in that it continues to be read by many people who are not philosophers or students of philosophy This is witnessed by the many thoughtful reader review the book has received here and elsewhere The work continues to be read I think because Boethius placed his philosophy in the context of his own experience The book has a personal and immediate tone Boethius also broadened the book to make his own experience speak to many people of his own and later times Most readers will find at least some of Boethius's philosophical teachings valuable and persuasive The book also combines philosophy with a beautiful literary style Poetry alternates with and supplements philosophy Philosophy is personified and speaks to Boethius in the form of a beautiful woman The book is full of allusions to classical Greek and Roman literatureBoethius 480 524 AD wrote this book near the end of a life that was both active and scholarly He had occupied a high position in the Roman Empire before he was imprisoned for treason He wrote the book in prison in the months before he was brutally tortured and killed At the beginning of the Consolation Boethius is morose and grieving over the injustice of his imprisonment and impending fate He feels that his life has been meaninglessWhen she enters the figure of philosophy largely recalls Boethius to himself The discussion proceeds in layers moving from the concrete and specific to the abstract Philosophy tells Boethius that she must take him and his situation as she finds them and move gradually to help Boethius understand himself As the book proceeds it becomes of a teaching by philosophy than a dialogue between philosophy and Boethius Prose and argument take the place of poetry as the book becomes heavily Neoplatonic and theistic in toneI understood best the earlier parts of this short works largely books I III of the five books in which it is divided Here with philosophy's guidance Boethius meditates on what makes life worthwhile He comes to understand that what he had primarily valued in life things such as pleasure power money success are evanescent and pass away They do not produce true happiness because they are not part of what a person is and can be taken away They are inherently changeable and fickle In an important passage in Book II philosophy says p31Why then do you mortal men seek after happiness outside yourselves when it lies within you You are led astray by error and ignorance I will briefly show you what complete happiness hinges upon If I ask you whether there is anything precious to you than your own self you will say no So if you are in possession of yourself you will possess something you would never wish to lose and something Fortune could never take away In order to see that happiness can't consist in things governed by chance look at it this way If happiness is the highest good of rational nature and anything that can be taken away is not the highest good since it is surpassed by what can't be taken away Fortune by her very mutability can't hope to lead to happinessBoethius introduces the figure of the wheel of fortune which apart from the personification of philosophy is the most striking figure of the book He was not the first to use this metaphor but he made it his own The figure of the wheel and the emphasis of change and suffering in life reminded me of Buddhist teachings which I have been studying for the past several years Boethius does not take his philosophy this way but instead develops a Neoplatonic vision of the One or of God which culminates in a beautiful poem at the conclusion of Book III section 9 of the Consolation pp 66 67 In the remaining portions of the Consolation Boethius seeks for further understanding of happiness and of the good Philosophy's answer becomes difficult and theological If focuses on the claimed non existence of evil the difference between eternity and time and the nature of ProvidenceIn rereading the book I thought Boethius convincingly presented what people today would call an existential or experiential situation he was imprisoned far from home and awaiting a gruesome death He learns some highly particular and valuable ways of understanding that help him and the reader with his condition As he develops his understanding Boethius and philosophy adopt a Neoplatonic synthesis of Plato and Aristotle that contemporary readers are likely to reject or not understand There is a further difficult uestion whether Boethius's teachings are exclusively Neoplatonic and pagan or whether they are Christian as well Christianity and Jewish Christian texts go unmentioned in the ConsolationThus I think the Consolation continues to be read and revered largely because of the situation it develops in its initial pages and because of Boethius's poetically moving teaching of the nature of change suffering and loss It is valuable to have the opportunity to see these things With change in times and perspective not all readers will agree with or see the necessity for the Neoplatonic or Jewish Christian given one's reading of the work underpinnings with which Boethius girds his teaching of change and suffering As I mentioned it is tempting to see parallels with Buddhism But it is likely that modern readers will try to work out Boethius's insights for themselves in a framework which is primarily secular I thought that much of the early part of the book for example could well have been written by Spinoza The Consolation remains a living book both because of what it says and also because it allows the reader to take Boethius's insights and capture them while moving in somewhat different directionsRobin Friedman

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FREE DOC é READER De consolatione philosophiae ☆ 9780140447804 ✓ Boethius was an eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric and an exceptional Greek scholar When he became involved in a conspiracy and was imprisoned in Pavia it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned THE CONSOLATION wHappiness good and evil fate and free will restore his health and bring him to enlightenment THE CONSOLATION was extremely popular throughout medieval Europe and his ideas were influential on the thought of Chaucer and Dan I never heard of The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius until a couple of years ago when a friend mentioned somewhat diffidently that she was reading it She said just enough to intrigue me and the book looked intriguingly short It went onto my mental read someday list and that was as far as I gotUntil now Corey Olsen's first Mythgard Academy class on The Consolation of Philosophy hit my iTunes feed I've mentioned the Mythgard classes before especially those to do with the Lord of the Rings and Dracula They are really excellent and they are freeAs it turns out The Consolation of Philosophy is not only one of the most influential books through Middle Ages and Renaissance but strongly influenced JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis Not to mention that the ideas continue to filter through pop culture and can pop up in unlikely placesAm thoroughly enjoying this initial readingFINAL UPDATEThis was an amazing book made even richer is that possible by Corey Olsen's classes It is a cogent look at good versus evil fortune versus innate worth and the intertwined nature of God's foreknowledge and free will Thought provoking and inspirational all without ever going beyond the bounds of philosophical thought and logicI will be coming back to this many times

Boethius ´ De consolatione philosophiae DOC

Boethius was an eminent public figure under the Gothic emperor Theodoric and an exceptional Greek scholar When he became involved in a conspiracy and was imprisoned in Pavia it was to the Greek philosophers that he turned T I’ve meant to read this for a very long time probably since I found out that the title of The Consolations of Philosophy another book I uite enjoyed was borrowed from this one In case you don’t know the background I’ll be uick The writer was leading a perfectly satisfactory life in fact even better than satisfactory when one day everything went seriously yuck in case you need a theme song to understand this – you can’t say I don’t try to provide a multi media experience with these reviews He was put in gaol after being set up and accused of treason There would have been I can only assume little doubt in his mind how things were likely to turn out but he spent a year waiting for his trail while expecting to be executed – he was executed by the way and as executions go his was a particularly nasty one While waiting for all this to happen he wrote this little book Now if I was waiting to be executed or thought that was the most likely outcome of the situation I found myself in I’m not sure this is the sort of book I would have written – and in saying that I think that reflects badly on me rather than on Boethius To be fair Boethius in this book doesn’t start out as the life of the party At the start of this remarkable little book he is very upset with the way things have turned out – and who could blame himBut while he is in prison he is visited by an incredibly lovely woman who just so happens to turn out to be the incarnation of philosophy It is hardly surprising that sex is out of the uestion and so they chat instead as one is likely to do when visited by the embodiment of wisdom It should also come as no surprise that they chat about things that are pretty well at the front and centre of Boethius’ mind Obviously these are not going to be how well the local team is going in the Christians Vs the Lions competition at the local sports ground this was 526 AD after all but rather a fascinating little discussion about the fickleness of fortune leading onto a DM on why God allows suffering to exist if he is all powerful I thought the stuff about the fickleness of fortune at the start of this book was very interesting I even agreed with much of it – which was essentially a repeat of Plato’s idea from Gorgias that it is better to suffer a wrong than to commit one mixed in with the Stoic idea that you should be prepared to lose all that you have because one day you are going to anyway I am someone without a religious faith but I do believe these are maxims that are as good as any others to live by I also think that you are likely to learn something useful from misfortune than from good fortune and that in the long run you are probably likely to end up better off due to your losses than your wins So I found reading all this a little hard given how much nodding I was doing along the way Having said that I would be surprised if I could be uite as rational as Boethius if I was ever confronted with the same or even similar circumstances or uite so stoical The second half of the book is about the nature of god and why god allows suffering And before we start with his answers to this we need to talk about whether or not Boethius was a Christian If I had read a newer version of this book there would have been an introduction and I would have had a chance to see what the latest thinking is on this I had thought before I started reading that he probably had to be a Christian I knew that this little volume was a standard text throughout the Middle Ages and so figured that he had to be a Christian if that was going to be the case However there were a few things that he said in this that really made viewing him as a Christian a little problematic Firstly there is a bit early on where he says that in the beginning God ordered the universe Of course the Christian God doesn’t order the universe He creates it out of nothing It is the pegan Roman and Greek gods who in the beginning give order to the Chaos Another thing I thought was a bit of a give away was the fact that at no time does Boethius mention Christ I don’t mean to be rude but when was the last time you had a conversation with a Christian without Christ being mentioned even once I know this is a short book but a Christian couldn’t have written for so long on such a topic without ever mentioning Christ The other bit that I think makes it hard to view Boethius as your standard Christian is that he has a very strange idea of freedom of the will and providence I’m not sure many Christians would agree that our free will is limited due to our inability to understand necessity My reading of what is said here is that we do not stuff up God’s plan for the future by our random acts of free will as you might expect us to by our changing the script along the way and this is because while we think we are acting out of our own discretion we are actually acting according to rules God’s rules that always remain beyond our ken I must admit that I found the latter parts of this book hard work but mostly because I think the problem of evil and suffering is harder to solve than is done here in what I think is a rather formal and ‘logical’ way If only suffering could be put aside so easily This was something else that reminded me of Plato’s Gorgias – I've always thought Plato was better at stating the problems with the pointless and almost adolescent nature of asking philosophical uestions than in answering them I felt much the same with how the problems of suffering and freedom were stated here compared to how these problems were resolvedThe second part of the book was the most Platonic part of the book I felt The style was much the same as reading a Platonic dialogue and the arguments were or less straight Plato That is another reason why the Christian stuff didn’t uite work for me While we could argue over whether or not Boethius was a Christian no one could argue about whether he was a Neo Platonist or notLook this is a fascinating work – any work written by someone waiting to die is going to have a compelling power about it But one that also shows a way to become reconcilled to fate and such an awful fate in such a circumstance is doubly fascinating Whether you agree or disagree with his conclusions the mere fact he can form any conclusions at all is enough to be wondered at That he is so accepting of his fate is breathtakingThere are lovely little poems throughout this book too They are dropped into the text and on the theme of what is being discussed in the text at the time They really add an entirely unexpected level of delight to this workAnd the Consolation of Philosophy Well to me it doesn’t lie in the answers he finds but rather in the act of thinking this through in the first place Time for a crap comparision with something in my life Obviously I have never been through anything nearly as horrible as Boethius goes through here but once I had a very stressful and anxious night thinking about some work that I needed to do and needed to do particularly well something I was fairly confident I was likely to stuff up uite convincingly I was so worried thinking about the likely conseuences of stuffing up the work I was going to do that I couldn’t sleep In fact I could hardly even breathe After tossing and turning for an hour I finally got up and sat at the dining room table reading TS Eliot’s Portrait of a Lady – definitely not one of Eliot’s easier poems The intensity of my concentration on the poem in trying to understand it and trying to follow all of the twists and turns in the imagery meant that it simply wasn’t possible to go on worrying about my problems at work When I finally went to bed I was able to keep my focus on the poem and its language and even hear Chopin playing somewhere in the back of my mind I can hardly remember what my work problem was but that night with Eliot was one I will never forgetI read this book on my Kindle a wonderful thing but poor old aren’t making the money out of me they probably had hoped You see I’ve found manybooksnet and what an amazing place that is I’ve put so many books onto my Kindle from there that it now has the same problem as my bookcases – lots of books I’m just never going to get the time to read all lined up waiting Still as Capitalism teaches us possession is nine tenths of the fun and consumption is its own reward