Cunning by Don Herzog

By Don Herzog

Want to be crafty? you could want you have been extra shrewdpermanent, extra versatile, capable of minimize a number of corners with out getting stuck, to dive from time to time into iniquity and floor clutching a prize. you should roll your eyes at these slaves of accountability who play via the principles. otherwise you may well imagine there is something sleazy approximately that stance, no matter if it does appear to repay. Does that make you a chump?

With pointedly mischievous prose, Don Herzog explores what is pleasing and what is revolting in crafty. He attracts on a colourful variety of assets: stories of Odysseus; texts from Machiavelli; pamphlets from early smooth England; salesmen's newsletters; Christian apologetics; performs; sermons; philosophical treatises; detective novels; recognized, notorious, and imprecise historic instances; and more.

The booklet is in 3 elements, bookended through murderous churchmen. "Dilemmas" explores a few canonical moments of crafty and introduces the excellence among knaves and fools as a "time-honored yet noticeably poor scheme." "Appearances" assails traditional methods to unmasking. Surveying lack of information and self-deception, "Despair?" deepens the case that we should be cunning--and then sees what we'd say in response.

all through this beguiling booklet, Herzog refines our feel of what is troubling during this terrain. He indicates that rationality, social roles, and morality are tangled together--and trickier than we thought.

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Or is he revealing that he’s a spineless wonder, sabotaging the expedition against Troy and grievously disappointing—and injuring—his fellow soldiers? 14 There’s something cold, even fiendish, in his ruthless campaign to get the desired result, his utter lack of interest in what is vexing in using or abusing poor Philoctetes. 15 Manipulating Philoctetes is treating him as if he were not a person but a stubborn obstacle, a stone that needs to be kicked aside. Dio Chrysostom, Discourse no. 52. See for instance Martha Nussbaum, “Consequences and Character in Sophocles’ Philoctetes,” Philosophy and Literature: (Fall 1976):25–53; and James Boyd White, Heracles’ Bow: Essays on the Rhetoric and Poetics of the Law (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), chap.

Trick Philoctetes so shamelessly? Maybe not. Let’s dwell on our hesitation—I conscript you in sharing it—about Odysseus’s stance in Philoctetes. Suppose we accept the play’s premise that DILEMMAS 25 the only way to get Philoctetes and his bow back to Troy is to trick him. )13 Should they do it? Neoptolemus overcomes his instinctive revulsion and spins his own lies, casting himself as a bitter foe of Odysseus who’s leaving Troy and would be happy to bring Philoctetes home. Those lies work: Philoctetes hands over the bow as he succumbs to another debilitating fit.

10 On how slippery Homer and Penelope can be, see John J. Winkler, The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece (New York: Routledge, 1990), chap. 5. DILEMMAS 21 Indeed, maybe he’s only sometimes in cahoots with his literary creation. Maybe the two are uneasy allies, working sometimes at cross-purposes, wary of one another. So too Zeus himself mentions Odysseus’s blinding the Cyclops. But we know that that god isn’t above lying—or being deceived. Pause at the timing: it takes Odysseus ten years to get home.

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