Have you seen or heard someone express Neo-Aristotelian views recently? This latest case was noticed by Angie Hobbs, a classics scholar at Warwick. Thanks Angie, a Neo-Aristotelian Watch t-shirt and mug is in the post. Stay vigilant.
Lord Melvyn Bragg, House of Lords arts funding debate, February 3 2011:
Over the past half century we have forged a creative economy that is not only envied but magnetic in its galvanising effect. Recent intensive research in America has shown that when there is fierce and successful economic growth, it is essentially bound up with an arts culture that is in itself fierce and successful. When we consider the past, we find that these nodal points of prosperity and advancement share that characteristic - none more than in the glory that was Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. By chance, I did a radio programme on Aristotle last week. What he wrote is central to this debate. He has influenced civilisations for two and half thousand years, so I am sure that your Lordships will give him a hearing here today in your House.
Aristotle lived at a time when creativity and intellectual excellence across the waterfront-science, technology, the economy and the arts-were seamlessly plaited together, and appreciated and supported. The result was a marvel of dynamic growth and a world-changing civilisation. Professor Angie Hobbs of Warwick University pointed out that Aristotle thought of art as much more central to human existence than mere pleasure. He believed that the correct appreciation of art was crucial for the formation of a person's character and would improve their behaviour in society as a whole. He developed this in his other works, and, importantly for this debate, he included it in his description of the best way to educate children. This is a truth stated then which we can see, and see working now.