Book 2 Chapter 8: The Utility of Adversity

The Consolation of Philosophy

One service only can Fortune do, when she reveals her own nature and distinguishes true friends from false. Philosophy explains the utility of adversity to virtue, and regales us with a paean to divine love. Analysis: Boethius evokes a frustrated aspiration to reconcile Aristotle and Plato, and we begin the transition from Aristotelian virtue, to the Neoplatonic contemplation of The Good. I summarize The Myth of Er, from Plato’s Republic, and read a short quote from it, emphasizing the need for the contemplation of knowledge.