Greek Philsophers Sing for American Idol (Part 3: Aristotle)

Aristotle, an American Idol contestant. Image from Wikipedia.

Ryan Seacrest: “And now we’re down to our final contestant for the night. This philosopher has worked tirelessly under the shadow of both Plato and Socrates who have gone before him, but he has his own ideas and, as we will see, the judges have praised him for his own sound. Ladies and gentlemen, Aristotle!”

[Aristotle sings, “The Reason” by Hoobastank]

Randy Jackson: “Not bad. A little pitchy. A little p to the itchy, but not bad. There was maybe a little more vibrato than I liked, but overall, it was a strong performance.”

Jennifer Lopez: “You’re all such great performers, and you all have such great elocution. I’m just amazed at all these performances. They’re just great.”

What Steven Tyler Meant to Say: “Aristotle, I think this song was really just meant for you to sing. It somewhat reflects your writing on ethics. ‘I’m not a perfect person.’ This simple phrase betrays that your will is not perfect and intact the Kant might suggest. There is no 19th century Divine Light that suggests all you have to do is look in your self. There is genuine change here, because you’re not a perfect person. And you also have a goal, of becoming a more loving person, a person more suited to loving the object of your love. ‘I’ve found a reason for me/to change who I used to be/a reason for all that I do/and the reason is you.’ Naturally another person cannot be your telos because you cannot be another person, but you can make your telos the person best suited to love the object of your love. Now this isn’t entirely suited to your idea of man’s telos being found in the sphere of the intellect, but you do have to sacrifice something to popular appeal, even if it gives you a more pragmatist tone.

“The song also suggests that knowledge and wisdom lead to this teleological development. ‘I continue learning,’ you sing. It’s phronesis if there ever was any. Overall, great job.”

What Steven Tyler Did Say: “You know, sometimes you’ve got to follow the rainbow after the storm cloud. And that’s exactly what you did. You didn’t let butterflies get in the way. And I liked the references to phronesis.”


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