Editor’s note: Today, we begin a three-part sharing of excerpts from the wonderful new book If Aristotle’s Kid Had an iPod: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents by Conor Gallagher. I hope you enjoy them, and that you’ll strongly consider adding Conor’s awesome new book to your “must read” list. LMH
Aristotle was concerned with human nature more than anything else. In order to become virtuous and happy, says Aristotle, your kid must perfect this human nature in a particular way. And this is what you will find in these pages.
Aristotle’s most famous work is called the Nicomachean Ethics. It was named either for his father, Nicomachus, or his only son by the same name. Essentially, Aristotle wrote a book about how to become a virtuous and happy human being. I suspect he named the work for his son as a gift, as if saying, “Son, this is your road map to happiness.” But whether named for his father or his son, Ethics is parenting advice to all future generations. It is exactly what he would tell parents because it is what he, as a parent, wanted his son to know.
But what if his son Nicomachus lived in 2012? Would Aristotle say the same things to him? YES. Absolutely. No doubt about it. How can we be so sure? Because everything he said was about the unchangeable human nature that every kid possesses. The current existence of Xbox and Facebook and iPods don’t change this. We must apply his principles to the modern world, but the principles are the same today as they’ve always been.” (from the introduction, pages xii-xiii)
About The Author
Conor Gallagher earned both his Masters in Philosophy and Juris Doctorate from The Catholic Univeristy of America. He began his professional career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert J. Conrad, Chief Judge of the Western District of North Carolina. He has been an adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Political Philosophy at Belmont Abbey College. He is currently Vice President of Publishing of Saint Benedict Press and TAN Books, and Executive Producer of Catholic Courses. He and his wife Ashley, are the proud parents of eight great children. Conor and his family live in Fort Mill, South Carolina.