<= 2006.09.30

2006.10.02 =>

Found in Pound's Canto LXXIV (first Pisan Canto):

all of which leads to the death-cells
each in the name of its god
or longevity because as says Aristotle
philosophy is not for young men
their Katholou can not be sufficiently derived from their hekasta
their generalities cannot be born from a sufficient phalanx of particulars

So I looked up:

A further proof of what has been said is, that although the young may be experts in geometry and mathematics and similar branches of knowledge, we do not consider that a young man can have Prudence. The reason is that Prudence includes a knowledge of particular facts, and this is derived from experience, which a young man does not a possess; for experience is the fruit of years. One might indeed further enquire why it is that, though a boy may be a mathematician, he cannot be a metaphysician or a natural philosopher. Perhaps the answer is that Mathematics deals with abstractions, whereas the first principles of Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy are derived from experience: the young can only repeat them without conviction of their truth, whereas the formal concepts of Mathematics are easily understood.

σημει̂ον δ’ ἐστὶ του̂ εἰρημένου καὶ διότι γεωμετρικοὶ μὲν νέοι καὶ μαθηματικοὶ γίνονται καὶ σοφοὶ τὰ τοιαυ̂τα, φρόνιμος δ’ οὐ δοκει̂ γίνεσθαι. αἴτιον δ’ ὅτι καὶ τω̂ν καθ’ ἕκαστά ἐστιν ἡ φρόνησις, ἃ γίνεται γνώριμα ἐξ ἐμπειρίας, νέος δ’ ἔμπειρος οὐκ ἔστιν: πλη̂θος γὰρ χρόνου ποιει̂ τὴν ἐμπειρίαν: ἐπεὶ καὶ του̂τ’ ἄν τις σκέψαιτο, διὰ τί δὴ μαθηματικὸς μὲν παι̂ς γένοιτ’ ἄν, σοφὸς δ’ ἢ φυσικὸς οὔ. ἢ ὅτι τὰ μὲν δι’ ἀφαιρέσεώς ἐστιν, τω̂ν δ’ αἱ ἀρχαὶ ἐξ ἐμπειρίας: καὶ τὰ μὲν οὐ πιστεύουσιν οἱ νέοι ἀλλὰ λέγουσιν, τω̂ν δὲ τὸ τί ἐστιν οὐκ ἄδηλον;

—Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, book VI

(Does that Greek text [from Perseus] work in your browser? Hekaston is in there; he talks about katholou in a different passage. I still can’t read much of it, but ah—)

 

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up (2006.10)

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