Language acquisition

It has often been said that the childhood is a creation of the modern period. Indeed, ancient and medieval sources occlude discussions of the first age of the human individual, the baby and toddler years. Premodern representations of children emphasise size, rather than any other features, to designate youngsters. From the baby in the cradle … Continue reading Language acquisition

Nostalgic wanderings

One thing which is missing from ancient and medieval literature is nostalgia. True, Ulysses can’t wait to see his wife, his kingdom and his native shores. The medieval mind dreams about the Kingdom of Heaven and adopts the restlessness of the pilgrim, the viator, keen to complete the journey and oblivious to present comforts. But … Continue reading Nostalgic wanderings

Ancient geometry and modern health

The Times ran a story yesterday titled: ‘Ancient Greeks ‘can help us stay healthy’. The follow-up: ‘Ancient Greek can help mental health’ never materialised. I’m disappointed, but I want to stay healthy. Pythagoras, the Times argued, ‘was one of the first to advocate daily exercise for health reasons’. Greek philosophers liked to walk (while philosophizing), … Continue reading Ancient geometry and modern health

[review] Roger Scruton’s ‘On Human Nature’: What makes us who we are

Roger Scruton’s latest book ‘On Human Nature’ is a delightful book. It is pithy, incisive, and written in a clear, flowing style. Although the title makes one think of ancient philosophical treatises (such as Aristotle’s or Cicero’s), it resists objectifications of what makes us human. The starting as well as the end point are not … Continue reading [review] Roger Scruton’s ‘On Human Nature’: What makes us who we are

The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)

Having recently read Gabrielle Spiegel’s The Past as text, I realised how important it is to reflect on the articulation of text and reality. The more recent poststructuralist views that everything is textuality may ultimately be a foolish experiment, but it has the potential to cast light on some of the problems arising from the attempt … Continue reading The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)