Love is in the air today and probably none more so than for the One Direction singer, Harry Styles. This may be expected from young girls, but much of the love could come from the philosophy and classics departments of universities! Why? Well, the modern philosopher, Alain de Botton, could be seen as responsible for it. In an interview with the Metro newspaper he said:
"The problem we've got is that most famous people in the country tend to believe in things that aren't particularly ambitious whereas the people who believe in really ambitious things are stuck away in ivory towers and no one bothers listening to what they think. In an ideal world Harry Styles would be teaching his 10 million Twitter followers a little more about Greek philosophy."
It wasn’t too long later that Mr Styles tweeted the following tweet:
"Socrates, born in Athens in the 5th century BCE, marks a watershed in Ancient Greek philosophy."
I can only hope that this is the beginning of a new craze amongst celebrities!
In the meantime, I feel Mr Styles should be careful about which parts of Aristotle’s philosophy he tweets. Unfortunately, Aristotle had what would be considered today as quite unusual views about women. Writing in the History of Animals he said:
“Woman is more compassionate than man, more easily moved to tears, at the same time is more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike. She is, furthermore, more prone to despondency and less hopeful than the man, more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive, and of more retentive memory. She is also more wakeful, more shrinking, more difficult to rouse to action, and requires a smaller quantity of nutriment.”
He put it more plainly in the Generation of Animals:
“Females are weaker and colder in nature, and we must look upon the female character as being a sort of natural deficiency. “
Mr Styles could flop his hair and smile cheekily, but I’m not sure that he would keep the love of his female fans for long if he endorsed those views.