Aristotle Beyond the Academy

Swiftie Aristotle

Truth, dare, spin bottles
You know how to ball, I know Aristotle
Brand-new, full throttle
Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto

So croons international pop-star and Aristotelian philosopher Taylor Swift in 'So High School', off her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Taylor is known for hiding obscure references in her lyrics, and Swift mega-fans, known as 'Swifties', would put Classics undergrad students to shame with their close-reading skills.

But these lyrics don't take much decoding. Swift is singing about her new boyfriend, American footballer Travis Kelce. As an all-star quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs, he certainly should 'know how to ball'.

That Swift knows Aristotle may come as more of a surprise. But of course, she's long built up a reputation for pursuing her own eudaimonia, or happiness, in the face of repeated romantic disappointments. In fact, that's what her latest album is all about.

So is it any wonder that a modern-day philosopher like Taylor would look to the Stagirite for some guidance?


Durham UniversityDurham University Centre for Classical ReceptionLeverhulme Trust