Alexander the Great was a Grad Student?

Alexander the Great received from Aristotle not only his lessons on Morals and Politics, but also his more abstract theories which Greek Philosophers reserved for direct communication to the initiated, and did not allow common people to become acquainted with. Now, when Alexander was in Asia, and heard Aristotle had published some of those treatises, he wrote to him the following letter:

I disagree with your decision to publish your books of oral doctrine. Do we really want to reveal these ideas to everyone? Personally, I think that I would rather do better than others on the knowledge of what is excellent, rather than continue to expand my power and dominion.

And Aristotle responded to the King thusly:

My published books on metaphysics which you have taken such exception to are written in a style which makes them useless for ordinary teaching! They are instructive only to those who have been already been inducted to that sort of exclusive learning.

–Plutarch’s Lives

See kids? Grad school, postmodernism and Intellectual elitism is almost as old as civilization itself.

%d bloggers like this: