26 February 2010

Excursions To Scientia

The American author Ernest Hemingway once said: "Never go on trips with anyone you do not love".

It is important to recognise, however, that there are several types of love and that some trips are better when the relationship is based on one sort of love rather than another.

In 1988, I took a trip alone to the west of Ireland. It was the first time I had travelled very far without being on a guided tour. On the left is a picture of a sign post that greeted me as I set off on a hired bicycle one morning. Fortunately, I met many friendly locals along the way who helped to point me in the right direction.

In my view, friendship is the best sort of love for most travels, but what does friendship mean? The philosopher Aristotle called friendship "philia". The English word philosophy begins with the ancient Greek word for friendship, so philosophy really means being friendly to wisdom.

So, how do you know if you are friendly to wisdom, or even just friendly? How do you know anything? Perhaps the Latin word "scientia" may be just as useful here as the Greek word "philia".

You may know that "scientia" means knowledge. It is the origin of the word science. Have you been on any friendly excursions to Scientia recently?

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