Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Solon's commandments

The Ten Commandments of Solon:
(Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 1.60):
  1. Trust good character more than promises.
  2. Do not speak falsely.
  3. Do good things.
  4. Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made.
  5. Learn to obey before you command.
  6. When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful.
  7. Make reason your supreme commander.
  8. Do not associate with people who do bad things.
  9. Honor the gods.
  10. Have regard for your parents.


Jarred said...

Interesting! I love 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10. I like 2 as a general rule, though I think there are rare occasions where a little dishonesty is appropriate and necessary. On 6, I'm inclined to refrain from giving advice in general. I think it's something we tend to do way too much. I don't understand 7 at all.

Yewtree said...

I agree with your caveats. Sometimes a tactful fib is the kindest thing.

I'd prefer wisdom to reason, as I think wisdom includes reason, intuition, and experience.

I also try to avoid giving advice; I prefer to say to people what choices I think they have, and reflect back their thoughts to them, and let them choose.