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Friday, May 24, 2013


According to my dictionary philosophical means, among other things:

"2 having or showing a calm attitude toward disappointments or difficulties : he was philosophical about losing the contract."

Here is Zambrano on the stoicism of the Spaniard:
Cuando en España se dice o le dicen a alguien, que hay que ser filósofo, hay que entender que es preciso soportar serenamente y con un tanto de sorna, algo muy difícil. Para el pueblo español, filosofía es algo que tiene mucho que ver con los reveses y tropiezos de la vida; en un mundo feliz no sería menester ser filósofo.
When in Spain people say, or somoeone is told, you have to be a philosopher, it is understood that it is necessary to bear something difficult with serenity and a bit of scorn. For the Spanish people, philosophy has to do with the setbacks and stumbles of life; in a happy world nobody would have to be a philosopher.
So a perfectly ordinary definition of the word, found in English, Spanish, and probably many other languages as well, becomes evidence about the Spanish character itself.

1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

I'm disappointed. After years of Language Log, I was sure that supporting received wisdom with dubious lexical claims was uniquely characteristic of Anglophone culture.