“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead
“A spiritual person is of course not a politician in a common sense but he is political in another way because he throws the problematicity of reality into the face of society and of what he encounters around himself. […] To pretend that politics is something non-decent for a spiritual person – that is the worst sophistry you can imagine.” — Jan Patočka
As I listened, I thought of Jan Patočka, Czech phenomenologist who died under interrogation by the Communist regime in 1977. Mentor to Václav Havel, Patočka has long been a hero of mine. He has yet to receive the attention he deserves in English-speaking academe and public life. The quote above is taken from “Jan Patočka and the Possibility of Spiritual Politics” by Ivan Chvatík in ‘Thinking After Europe: Jan Patocka and Politics.’ 2016.
What do you think?