How can the study of core texts contribute to a sense of common humanity, gracious diction,and leadership in a chaotic world? Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethicsand Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy: Infernoexamine ideals of morality, friendship,and happiness in ways that still ring true. Aristotle's Ethicsdeal primarily with the ideal of mhde/n a!gan—nothing in excess. Human passions and desires are to be tempered by reason; likewise, human rationality is made complete by proper desires and sentiments. Dante follows Aristotle's ideas and brings them further, demonstrating that passion—or as he terms it, love—is a good thing so long as it is directed toward its appropriate object, and in proper measure. In both the Ethicsand TheDivine Comedy, true fellowship is found among the virtuous, who order their passions and sentiments according to what is good. Rationality and emotion are not to be divorced from one another. In order to develop a wise and gracious character—from which springs wise and gracious discourse—one must learn to love and value every good thing in its appropriate measure, and to approach every subject with a humble understanding of one's own limitation.
"Sense, Sentiment and Civilization,"
Agora: Vol. 28
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalshowcase.lynchburg.edu/agora/vol28/iss2019/2