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Thread: Aristotle: Europeans Lack Intelligence

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    Aristotle: Europeans Lack Intelligence

    Politics Book 7: "Those who live in a cold climate and in Europe are full of spirit, but wanting in intelligence and skill; and therefore they retain comparative freedom, but have no political organization, and are incapable of ruling over others. Whereas the natives of Asia are intelligent and inventive, but they are wanting in spirit, and therefore they are always in a state of subjection and slavery. But the Hellenic race, which is situated between them, is likewise intermediate in character, being high-spirited and also intelligent. Hence it continues free, and is the best-governed of any nation, and, if it could be formed into one state, would be able to rule the world."
    Thoughts? I personally have found this to be generally true. Europeans generally have a noble warrior spirit but are somewhat lacking in the type of higher philosophical intelligence Aristotle is referring to. Although admittedly it is obvious higher philosophical intelligence has clearly been more common among Germans.
    "The order of castes, the supreme, the dominant law, is merely the sanction of a natural order, a natural lawfulness of the first rank, over which no arbitrariness, no “modern idea” has any power."

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    "Those who live in a cold climate and in Europe are full of spirit, but wanting in intelligence and skill; and therefore they retain comparative freedom, but have no political organization, and are incapable of ruling over others
    We ruledover most of the world for a lot longer than anyone else did. So i have disagree with him. I also wouldn't consider us any less intelligent than other races, which i think is proven by our accomplishments since Aristotles time. Maybe that was true of his time period, but by now we have risen above the rest.

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    Obviously, Aristotle's opinion aren't the be-all end-all of everything. He lived in a specific time and place. The people to the north of Greece may have been primitive during his time, but that's obviously not the case any longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by theiamania
    I personally have found this to be generally true. Europeans generally have a noble warrior spirit but are somewhat lacking in the type of higher philosophical intelligence Aristotle is referring to.
    What "higher philosophical intelligence"? Are you aware how many philosophers were produced in countries like Germany?

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    What "higher philosophical intelligence"? Are you aware how many philosophers were produced in countries like Germany?
    Yes. Thats why I stated among Germans higher intelligence and an aptitude for higher culture appears to be more evident than the rest of Europe. The English don't seem to have the same philosophical spirit that Germans posses. Nietzsche wrote that "They are no philosophical race, these Englishmen: Bacon signifies an attack on the philosophical spirit; Hobbes, Hume, and Locke a debasement and lowering of the value of the concept of ‘philosophy’ for more than a century."

    I've found this to be generally true of the English myself. They have a warrior spiritedness, but they lack the philosophical spirit. Generally anyway. Not all of them obviously.
    "The order of castes, the supreme, the dominant law, is merely the sanction of a natural order, a natural lawfulness of the first rank, over which no arbitrariness, no “modern idea” has any power."

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    The contribution of ancient Greece to western thought is important, but it is choc full of errors. Aristotle also said flys have 4 legs and objects fall to earth at a rate proportional to their masses.


    In terms of science and engineering, nobody comes close to northern European accomplishments.

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    And I guess you could apply that same aptitude for higher culture to Norway, Sweden, and Finland too. From my perspective it looks like Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have produced superior cultures than the rest of Europe.
    "The order of castes, the supreme, the dominant law, is merely the sanction of a natural order, a natural lawfulness of the first rank, over which no arbitrariness, no “modern idea” has any power."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gall Óglach View Post
    In terms of science and engineering, nobody comes close to northern European accomplishments.
    Indeed.
    "The order of castes, the supreme, the dominant law, is merely the sanction of a natural order, a natural lawfulness of the first rank, over which no arbitrariness, no “modern idea” has any power."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorolf View Post
    We ruledover most of the world for a lot longer than anyone else did. So i have disagree with him. I also wouldn't consider us any less intelligent than other races, which i think is proven by our accomplishments since Aristotles time. Maybe that was true of his time period, but by now we have risen above the rest.
    Uhhhh, I like Aristotle and all but, he was way off the mark on this one. Maybe he should have brought up how we war against each other instead of saying we can't rule over anyone else. I'm pretty certain that America and England were ruled by Europeans. And still are for the most part.
    "The mystery and secret of Wotan is not that "knowledge" of him is passed along through clandestine cults or even through the re-discovery of old books and texts--but rather that such knowledge is actually encoded in a mysterious way in the DNA, in the very genetic material, of those who are descended from him." - Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness

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    What Aristotle wrote was probably true in his own age: Not much going on in Northern Europe that could stand comparison to the cultures of the Mediterranean when he wrote.

    But a lot of things have changed since his time, and for the past couple of centuries the Northern Europeans have dominated the world not only in military and political terms, but also in philosophical and intellectual terms.

    How many philosophers and scientists of note have been born and raised in Mediterranean and Middle East countries compared to Western countries over the span of say, the last three centuries?

    How can Europeans be lacking in intelligence and philosophical aptitude when we have so dominated and exceeded the rest of the world? If we Europeans lack intelligence, what about the rest of the world that has failed to achieve what we have?

    Aristotle still stands as a paragon of wisdom and erudition and should be respected and studied as such. But that does not mean that every single word he had to say is still completely correct several thousands year later.

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    Like Sigyn he lived during a certain place and time. And one can say that in the time between Germanics have overshadowed the ancient Greeks, while the decadents of the later are not much to write about as a group. The tables have turned so to speak. Bad starting conditions thanks to a more colder climate as opposed to the more warmer climates of the South, but does not necessarily makes someone less intelligent.

    But this piece also raises the question how Aristotle defines intelligence. And only when that is know can we proceed with discussing what is the topic of this tread.

    However it does to raise the equation that cold climate = less intelligent race; warm climate = more intelligent race. Which would mean that Aristotle should consider Negroes to be more intelligent because of the climate they live in. Alto lacking in spirit.
    The sense of honor is of so fine and delicate a nature that
    it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble or
    cultivated by good examples and a refined education.
    - Sir Richard Steele

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