Today's Financial Times has a good article by Simon London reviewing a book by Jim O'Toole, Creating the Good Life . Yes, it's another attempt to draw lessons from Aristotle for business. Let's see -- add it to the list, Tony Soprano for Managers, Genghis Khan for Human Resources, etc.
I made the mistake (!) of sending the article to my co-author Jonathan Sallet, who replies as follows:
From next week's FT.
"Many people, when they've lived for half a century begin to think of how they will conclude their career or begin their retirement. For inspiration, they turn to religion, spirituality of different forms, or to gurus, of the management or zen persuasions.
"But I have taken a different path. Is it not Socrates who offers us the meaning of a good life? Think of him not just a tutor of Plato but also as the middle aged hoplite, fleeing for safety from the site of a terrible Athenian military disaster. Or, more famously, voluntarily committing suicide rather than departing the Athens whose democracy he despised.
"Do not these choices - and the autocratic (some say fascist) philosophy so nobly pursued by his most notable disciple - give us a new way of viewing our life? Why hang around corporate boardrooms awaiting the arrival of the next Enron scandal when fleeing is a pathway right there in front of you? Why show up to vote or embrace a social cause when cyncism can be raised to an art form (and remember Socrates didn't even have a blog, much less a talk show)? And why wait for the debilitating ravages of retirement, as your artificial knee begins to buckle under the weight of 18 holes, when such an obviously self indulgent (not to say self erasing) alternative is as close as, say, a cup of hemlock?
"Perhaps you have a different view. But I choose to ignore it, for Socrates has shown me the light. Engage in disalogue with others if you must, for me just make it socratic.