[lit-ideas] Re: My Greek Coach

  • From: "Julie Krueger" <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 07:32:17 -0600

Love this post, JL.  What's your understanding of the usage of the Greek
"oussia"?

Julie Krueger

On Dec 7, 2007 6:18 AM, <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> wrote:

>  Geary quotes:
>
> >>Bynum: "Greeks, who thought very deeply about sociology, politics,
> science and
> >>philosophy..."
> and comments:
>
> >And, she neglects to add,  about their sweet tutees.
>
> ---
>
> Exactly. Although Geary is a Zen Buddhist (and _they_ have their *masters*
> and *mistresses*, too), Bynum is (accidentally, I hope) neglecting not to
> add, but to stress, the phenomenal importance of the educational (sweet,
> educational, as the poet says) system.
>
> Never before in the History of the West, did we experience such a concern
> for the individual tutee. Helm can praise the American spartans, but from
> the films I've seen, it's usually an officer insulting the troops. So,
> naturally, as Helm notes, the individual members of the troops have to find
> comfort among each other, in their attempt to survive. This 'sprit de corps'
> usually _excludes_ the loud officer. Therefore the 'comrades in arms' are
> same-group things. Ditto in Argentina, and most likely with the RM, and --
> but who cares -- with the Gurkhas. (Unless we have a lurking Gurkha in
> Literature and Ideas -- which I'd highly suspect not, as the creatures are
> incapable of reading).
>
> Werner Jaeger wrote _three_ thick volumes on "Paideia_ (in German, but
> soon translated to English by G. Highet and published by H. U. P., and to
> the main European languages). The subtitle was: "Paideia, the ideals of
> Greek culture". Yes, pretentious as only a German title can be, and
> misleading too.
>
> Jaeger notes the inadequacy of the title when he observes that 'paideia'
> "originally meant child-rearing" -- and still does! I'd add. The good thing
> about the 3-volume set is that it focuses on some developments in that ideal
> or set of ideals from Homeric times -- or worse, 'archaic' -- to, say Plato.
>
>
> I would think the ideal in the most archaic form would involve one coach,
> who would be responsible for the education of both the physical and the
> psychological side to the tutee -- the sweeter the better.
>
> Unfortunately, the earliest record we have is Achilleus being reared by a
> horse-man, Khiron. Yes, the man-horse had his qualifications, etc. -- but I
> cannot dwell on the details without having the audience smiling, or
> laughing, or scorning, so I'll pass to the next famous tutee -- and coach.
> Note that in the archaic times, the coach covered both aspects, and it was
> by prohibition not allowed to be the father.
>
>
> COACH (whistling the Pipes)      PEEP!   PEEP!    PEEP!
>
> TUTEE (waking up). Yes coach?
>
> COACH. Agaramia hemeres tina rhodos pes. ("Dawn of the rosy feet is among
> us").
>
> TUTEE (catching the implicature). O-Kay. O-Kay. (Stands up)
>
> The tutee stood up. There is no time to waste getting on your clothes,
> since both were naked and will be naked for the rest of the day. Rather,
> it's time for breakfast.
>
> COACH. Have some wine.
>
> TUTEE. I'd prefer something less strong. Do we have some ambrosia left?
>
> COACH. Yes. You're terrible with wine. I remember how you spilled it all
> the other day at the banquet to the laughter of them all [* Actual
> recollection by Khiron when wanting to ashame Achilles].
>
> TUTEE. What are we doing today?
>
> COACH. First we need some training in the killing of people. So we'll hunt
> some pheasant. How do you like that!
>
> TUTEE. Nice!
>
> COACH. Come on, ride me then. [Achilles was able to actually _mount_
> Xhiron, since he was part horse -- and cfr. the famous painting by
> Delacroix, "The education of Achilles -- other coaches would play 'horses'
> with their tutees just for the fun of it, or the memorial of Khiron]
>
> Off they go into the woods and kill one pheasant. It's supposed to be the
> tutee who kills it.
>
> TUTEE (as they eat the pheasant on a barbercue): What's next?
>
> COACH: Today, I'll teach you the sixth.
>
> TUTEE: The sixth?
>
> COACH: Yes, bucolic sixth. [This custom is still retained in most Romance
> countries -- as 'siesta' -- literally, the sixth [task] -- and qualified as
> bucolic since you burp the pheasant you're digesting while contemplating the
> river flowing into the ocean.
>
> ---- After the siesta
>
> TUTEE (playing the pipe).    PEEP   ---   PEEP   --- PEEP!
>
> COACH (still snoring). ZZZ    ZZZ   ZZZ
>
> TUTEE: Siesta Time is over. Teach me some more. Remember this is my
> initiation rite of passage. I want to be a man like you. I know how to hunt,
> and how to survive, do I need anything relating to mathematics? (For the
> Greeks, 'mathematics' was _all_ science, cfr. the relic in the English
> "polymath")
>
> COACH: Yes, drills.
>
> TUTEE.   Okay.
>
> COACH.   Stand up. Raise your arms. How many arms.
>
> TUTEE:    Two, coach
>
> COACH: To the ground now. 25 push ups. (Tutee complies). Now stretch your
> legs. How many legs?
>
> TUTEE: Four, er... no, two coach.
>
> COACH:   Stretch your legs, make the legs touch the hands. Touch index
> finger with toe. Duedeka (twenty) times.(Tutee complies). You're good at
> maths.
>
> TUTEE: Done
>
> COACH.  Now stretch to your sides -- Not for nothing my coach was Jane
> Fonda. 34 times.
>
> TUTEE:  Done.
>
> COACH:  Now the jumping. Jump 43 times while holding this (throws stone at
> him -- which tutees catches in air).
>
>     they spend the rest of the afternoon and early evening like that.
>
> TUTEE. I'm exhausted.
>
> COACH. Good. Now is the time for 'philosophy', the love of wisdom.
>
> TUTEE. Good. That's my favourite. Because it expands my mind so. What
> doctrine are we considering today?
> COACH.  The theory of the khaos.
>
>
>
> ----------  This was motivated to me by my reading yesterday, Diog. Laert.
> Life of Epicurus (I haven't finished yet). He says that he went to the study
> of philosophy because his school teacher (didaktos) was unable to explain
> the meaning of "chaos" in Hesiod. Which seems to me a reason as good as any
> to enter the study of philosophy.
>
> ---
>
> MODERN DEVELOPMENTS.
>
> The tutorial system created by the Greeks _was_ a relic of a war-based
> society where the tutor was more like a coach and responsible for the moral
> (physical and psychological) development of a NON-ADULT MALE (sometimes
> identified as FEMALE because of their inability to cope with non-binary
> systems) into the necessary stage of the MALE world. "Necessary" should be
> qualified. R. Green, for example, notes that many Etonians won't grow,
> like Peter Pan ("the boy who would not grow") -- "permanent adolescence"
> as Green calls this is indeed a value of society, but I hope the
> untechnicality of the proceedings in Archaic Greece will show that they
> didn't take adulthood too serious either.
>
> It was Oxford and Cambridge (first Oxford, of course), who attempted the
> TUTORIAL system with some seriousness to balance the athletic-only side of
> the individual focused at Eton (after Dr. Arnold's reforms). A 'public
> school' could not afford a private tutorial system -- but Oxford WILL. So,
> the requisite for ANY programme at Oxford involves the adjudication of a
> tutor/tutee on a personal basis. One example:
>
>               J. W. R. Hardie  -----  tutor of H. P. Grice
>
>                      H. P. Grice ----- tutor of P. F. Strawson.
>
> Many years later, Grice will dedicate one essay to his "pupil" (that's the
> word he uses, WOW, p. 268). And he has only words of praise for Hardie,
> whose intepretation of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics was something Grice
> cherished all his life.
>
>
>
> >>Bynum: "Greeks, who thought very deeply about sociology, politics,
> science and
> >>philosophy..."
> and comments:
> >And, she neglects to add,  about their sweet tutees.
>
> --- Exactly. Because for the Greeks, the body of 'science' (and yes,
> Ramos, it was _science_ for Aristotle -- at least it didn't rhyme!) They
> thought very deeply about mostly everything. Indeed, I wouldn't distinguish
> between 'politics' and 'science'. Their ideal was a 'political science', and
> that's why Aristotle is still required reading in those programmes. I'm less
> sure about 'sociology', but if we mean 'ethics', they thought about that
> too. And philosophy not only they thought very deeply about but _invented_
> it.
>
> In the thinking very deeply about these things the Greeks were
> extraordinarily individualistic. Their form of teaching was the dialogue.
> And the dialogue was titled after the name of the tutee, followed by a
> disjunction with a mention of the name of the concept which the dialogue was
> meant to be about. Thus we have -- just to focus on Plato:
>
>
>  * "Euthyphron;
>          Or,
>            The Holy";
>
>
> * "Criton;
>           Or,
>             Duty"
>
> * "Phaido,
>          Or
>              the Soul [Psukhe]
>
>
> * "Kratulos,
>         or
>           on Language" [this is the one that I have studied with most
> detail. JLS]
>                    [Onoma orthon]
>
> * "Theaetetus,
>         or on
>           What is Known"
>                   [episteme]
>
> * "Parmenides,
>          or
>             Ideas.
>                 [eideai]
>
> * "Philebos,
>          or
>           Pleasure"
>              [hedone]
>
> --->* "Phaidros,
>                 or
>                     Love"
>                       [Eros] [to study]
>
> * Alcibiades,
>           Or,
>             on Man" [Anthropos]
>
> * Alcibiades Junior,
>         or on Praying to God
>
> * Hipparkhos,
>          or
>            The Love of Gain"
>
> * "Theages,
>        or
>           on Philosophy
>
> * Kharmides,
>         or
>           Temperance [Sophrosyne]"
>
> * "Lakhes,
>         or
>            Manly Courage [Andreia]"
>
> * Lusis
>       on
>          Friendship [Philia]
>
> * Euthudemos,
>        or
>          the Disputatious Man."
>
> * Protagoras,
>       or
>         Sophismae,
>
> * Gorgias,
>        or
>          Rhetoric
>
> * "Meno,
>       or
>         Virtue [Arete]"
>
> * "Hippias Senior,
>           or Beauty [Kallos]
>
> * Hippias Junior,
>        or on the False [Apophasis]
>
> * "Ion, or
>        poetry [Poesia]
>
>
> * "Menexenus, or
>          on Death [Thanatos]
>
> * "Clitophon, or
>        on Philosophy
>
> * Timaeus, or
>          on Nature [Phusis]
>
> * Critias, or
>        on moral [Ethos]
>
> * Minos, or
>        on Law [Nomos]
>
>
> --- Comments welcome
>
> J. L. Speranza
>     The Swimming-Pool Librarian
>         Buenos Aires, Argentina.
>
>
>
>
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