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Enthusiasm And Divine Madness Paperback – November 15, 1999

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1890318239 ISBN-10: 189031823X Edition: 3rd

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Editorial Reviews

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"Pieper's . . . book . . . is in every way beautiful: in format, in translation, in subject (Plato's Phaedrus), in its philosophic grace." -- Christian Century
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 3rd edition (November 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189031823X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890318239
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Pieper is absolute pleasure to read and this particular book is no exception. Incidentally I set upon this particular one because of its recommendation from James V Schall (lecturer in political philosophy, whose judgement about important books I particularly value). The theme of this book is the eros, as it is discussed by Socrates and his companion in Plato's Phaedrus. The companion is all for the latest view coming from "a world of sophisticated irreverence and detachment, of enlightened health doctrines and simultaneous depravity", a world not far removed from today's intellectual milieu. Essentially what the companion has fallen for is the eloquence which "attempts to justify the lack of real love, the non-involvement of the human person". "The whole tone of Lysias' discourse on the theme of love is the superior, self assured tone of a modernist"

As Pieper says: "What is really so bad, in fact inhuman, about this attitude us not the craving from sensual gratification, but the deliberate, systematic separation of sensuality from spirituality, of sex from love". Eros becomes neutered and powerless when the nature of man is denied so that he is not "open to shattering emotion, susceptible to being carried away...Real man is a being by nature given to shattering emotion". Socrates in effect says that eros is not something about which we can have a "cool objectivity" - our nature is not given to us as "raw material" for us to mould to suit ourselves. Thus, for Socrates, eros opens up the lover to "frenzy" a "being-beside-oneself", a "loss of his self-possession". Pieper leads us to consider poetry which seems to emerge from the same sort of loss of self possession and then to the main theme, to consider the "ravishing nature of "beauty".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E.V. on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book as an assignment for a college philosophy class, but I plan to look for more Pieper titles to read on my own time, both for the clarity and humor of his presentation and because he obviously believes in the beauty and relevance of classical philosophy. Rather than simply discussing the Phaedrus, Pieper inquires whether Plato's ideas are right or not. Reading this book was uplifting besides being intellectually stimulating.
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