Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Simply outstanding …

… From What Is Left Over by Rémi Brague | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

These are large questions, so we do best to end by returning to the simple practice of plainsong. This sort of singing epitomizes the vocation of song, which is to celebrate and praise. Now, obviously, we can sing, hence praise, only what is good. We enter into praise, which is the condition of culture, if and only if there is something praiseworthy. In the last analysis, there can be culture if and only if we are convinced that, in the teeth of evil, that which is is ­intrinsically good. To give priority to the praiseworthy is an onto­logical choice. This choice is presupposed by any ­culture-grounding activity.
Read the whole thing. I am looking to see what book by Rémi Brague I should start with. One of the best philosophical essays I have ever read.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff Mauvais6:34 PM

    As it happens, I just received through interlibrary loan Brague's 'The Legend of the Middle Ages: Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism and Islam', which promises to address the various oversimplificatons which have characterized our understanding of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. Notions of the era as a period of dark ignorance, or a golden era of Christian love and virtue, or a paradise of intellectual harmony between the three Abrahamic religions are all subjected to Brague's scrutiny. I'm reading it as part of my preparation for an extended trip to Spain next May, since al-Andalus seems to have been an important nexus for much intellectual exchange during the Middle Ages.