philosophy on TV

This is not a substantive post, but I wanted to let people know that (1) this blog has not died (yet), and (2) I saw Aristotle quoted in a TV commercial last night. The commercial opened up with Yao Ming (a famous basketball player, for those of you who don't care about such stuff) practicing shooting 18-foot shots, making one after another. Then the screen is replaced with the text: "Excellence is not an act but a habit. --Aristotle"

I think the ad was paid for by the NBA, but I'm not sure. I'm now trying to figure out how to market my own writings to fit various basketball-related themes... I could use the royalties, but I don't see how "Tarski's theory of truth was not motivated by physicalism" or "Developmental biology may not reduce to molecular biology" could tie in with any of the, uh, virtues extolled by basketball culture.

p.s.: Does anyone know why one of Shaquille O'Neal's nicknames is "The Big Aristotle"?


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why one of Shaquille O'Neal's nicknames is "The Big Aristotle"?

If I recall correctly, it is only because he once said in an interview that he wanted to be known as "The Big Aristotle." He gave no satisfactory explanation.

N. N. said...

The NBA got the idea from Shaq: "I'd like to be known as 'the Big Aristotle.' It was Aristotle who said excellence is not a singular act, but a habit."

So, all you need to do is to get Shaq to call himself the "Big Metalanguage," etc.

Adam B said...

(I don't know if that last comment worked.)

A friend tells me that Phil Jackson gave Shaq a copy of the Nicomachean Ethics, which Shaq *actually read* (Shocking! I know!!!). There's an article by Fritz Allhoff on the episode -- "The Zen Master and the Big Aristotle: Cultivating a Philosopher in the Low Post," forthcoming in _Basketball and Philosophy_.