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Why Aristotle would have failed as an Association Manager?

Written by Stylianos Filopoulos, General Director of the Wine in Moderation Association

For Aristotle, everything in the world has a purpose, a raison d’être. This is not very far from our approach to international associations. The 4 main elements of an association; vision, mission, membership, governance of an association are well aligned with Aristotle’s doctrine. Memberships respond to the material cause, the governance to the formal cause, the mission to the efficient cause and the vision to the telic cause.

So Aristotle would thrive as association manager….or maybe not?

We like to consider ourselves as rational human beings looking for casual relationship in the way we act. Consequently, we believe that our creations -in this case; an international association- will be organised and act reasonably and will efficiently reach its telic cause.

But how many times you stopped believing in logic when you looked to the structure and the acts of your association? How many times you could not find any answer to the why’s you have asked?

Modern philosopher Daniel Dennett in his book “From Bacteria to Bach” give a possible way out from the confusion of the “why?”. He proposes instead of approaching reality through the why question, we could use a familiar pair of substitute phrases: what for? and how come?

Therefore, it might be better to take some time to look back before jumping to the future. Understanding “how come?” an association act the way it acts and identifying the turning points in the association evolution path, it can indeed give us better understanding of today’s reality and help us prepare for the future.

The title is provocative, Aristotle would have been a fine association manager but most probable he would had opt out from the frustration.

If you want to read more about inversion of thinking I highly recommend reading the Philosopher Daniel Dennett and his book “From Bacteria to Bach”


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