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Showing posts from November 8, 2020

Ambition drives us all

Good old reliable friend, the dictionary, is going to co-author this blog post. I would have posted its photo as well, but I was not too sure if it did not involve some copyright law infringement. Only half-joking. "Ambition drives us all' sounds very much like one of those insufferable sweeping statements, forgotten as soon as read or heard. I am not aiming for posterity here, just to make a point. A word's origin reveals its meaning better than long philosophical notes. Words, much more than people, are taken for granted because of their longer life span. Ambition is just an example. It comes from a Latin word, ambire, which means to go around. Going around is not a particularly interesting pastime, and that's being polite. It is frankly quite boring, a feature compounded by its obvious aimlessness. That's why no one goes around for any long period of time. Hidden or covert, there is an aim for being present one moment here and a bit later there.  In ancient Rome

Zoon Politikon is not political

 Did you know which are the top blogging topics?  I did not, until I looked them up, using the predictable search engines available to Internet tribes. The results were quite interesting. "How to.." and "Self-development" take the lion's share of the blogosphere, which is itself expanding at dizzying speed. Is everyone after some form of competence and also keen of becoming a better version of oneself? It seems so, but why? The ancients have the answer, nothing surprising here. Aristotle's view of man as "Zoon Politikon", for instance. Often quoted and rarely used correctly,  these two words do not refer to man as a 'political animal",  such as someone who is totally enamoured of politics as understood in today's parlance. Zoon is a living creature and "politikon" comes from polis, which means city, the complex social structure where people live and do things together.  Man is a social creature, who needs to be part of a grou