Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (Part Two)

Feb 20, 2017, 12:00 PM

Continuing on the Consolation (524 CE).

We discuss chiefly books 3 and 4, which present the classical one-dimensional model of the good: We all tend toward the good (or what we think to be good, and if we're wrong about what that is, then we can be judged as failing in our aim toward the good), which is happiness, which (because God created everything and the creator must always be better than the created) is in fact God. By being virtuous, we "become gods" through participation in God, who is wholly simple. So, likewise all these things that we apparently aim for like fame, wealth, pleasure… all these, insofar as they are not illusions of happiness, really must amount to the same, singular thing: happiness, i.e., God. And if bad things seem to happen to good people, well, that's an illusion, because evil can't actually really exist in this designed-by-God-and-therefore-perfect world.

Book 5 is about free will, and we don't really cover it; see ep. 119 of the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast.

Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: Carrie Akre's "Last the Evening" from the album of that name from 2007. Hear Carrie interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music Ep. 17. #philosophy #boethius #theodicy #stocisim #aristotle #plato #god #virtue #happiness #free #will Go to the blog: