Tag Archives: Jerome Segal


One of the weird ways that I deal with complex ideas is by reading multiple books simultaneously. When I find intertextual references that are unfamiliar, I have a huge compulsion to track them down. In Segal’s  “interlude” chapter separating his discussion of a politics of simplicity and his discussion of philosophy, there are many. In the […]

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Public and Private Beauty

There is a distinct abuse of bulleted lists in Segal’s book. Nonetheless, many of the concepts buried in these bullets deserve close attention and comparison with other variations on the general ideas.  The “graceful” aspect of Segal’s formulation of graceful simplicity is steeped in aesthetic values which converge and diverge with earlier deployments of the […]

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I may not be graceful or simple, but I’m trying to be persistant

One of my deepest difficulties as a reader and a researcher is my tendency to chase footnotes and citations, sometimes until I wander off permanently from the primary text. It was a real pain in grad school, because it usually ended up with other people thinking I was showing off my extensive reading. That’s not […]

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Crisis of Confidence

Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our Government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual. What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system […]

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Unnatural Wealth

Returning for now to Jerome Segal’s book, there are some interesting leaps from Aristotle. I do not really understand some of the leaps he makes to declare some perspectives “Aristotelian.” Taxonomies that appear in Aristotle are frequently sketches that are contradicted elsewhere, deployed as matters of argumentative convenience. What seems clear in my reading of […]

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Instruments of Action

Property is a part of the household, and the art of acquiring property is a part of the art of managing the household; for no man can live well, or indeed live at all, unless he is provided with necessaries. And as in the arts which have a definite sphere the workers must have their […]

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Graceful Simplicity

Jerome M. Segal’s book was published in interesting times. First publication was in 1999, with a second paperback edition prepared for publication in 2002, in the aftermath of September 11th. The preface to the paperback raises interesting issues around the “why do they hate us” line of thinking that was prevalent, and highlights the relevance […]

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Le pouvoir de la vie

I find it really choice that the cover of Graceful Simplicity by Jerome M. Segal is a shell. Shells, or more specifically, brachiopods, were my first introduction to the problems of simplicity. When I reentered college years ago, I needed to select a science to fulfil the requirement for my BA. I had lots of […]

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