Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Aristotle Character Analysis

Aristotle was an Ancient Greek philosopher from the fourth century B.C.E., and a successor to Plato and Socrates. His rigid taxonomies of philosophical concepts have provided much of the groundwork for the western intellectual tradition, and are especially influential to the Chairman of the Committee who oversees Phaedrus’s studies at the University of Chicago. Phaedrus seeks to repudiate Aristotle’s devaluation of the art of rhetoric, and to remedy the inattentiveness to Quality in the modern world that he views as a consequence of Aristotelian thought.
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Aristotle Character Timeline in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The timeline below shows where the character Aristotle appears in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 28
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...recollects a fragmented memory of Phaedrus commenting to the Assistant Chairman that he hadn’t noticed Aristotle in the committee’s curriculum. The Assistant Chairman was aghast that Phaedrus did not know that... (full context)
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Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
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...seem insane, even though he believes that the real insanity lies in the “mythos” that Aristotle has made people believe by default. (full context)
Chapter 29
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Phaedrus reads Aristotle fastidiously, so that his truculent Professor of Philosophy cannot dismiss him as a poor student.... (full context)
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Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
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...realizes that Plato has simply made arête into a fixed concept: the Good. This allows Aristotle to manipulate the idea later on and place it in a subordinate role—and explains western... (full context)