Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Witzigen Weisen

This is the book that was the stepping-stone for me to study philosophy. To be exact, it was three particular sections on page 65 and 66.

I took this book off the shelf out of curiosity - at the age of 17 I guess - while walking to the history and geography section in the library. I noticed this book before and was somehow attracted to the word 'garden' (Dutch 'tuin'). By accident - was it an accident? - I took this book with me to Austria (skiing holiday). On one of the first days I read this book early in the morning. I was flabbergasted. Before this book 'philosophy' was for me: stupid, anything but common sense, detached from reality and irrelevant quibbles.

The book opened for me the door to ancient Greek philosophy. Thoughts, words and images before the Bible. How I longed for that! Next to that it seemed that philosophy was a clear and tangible world. Something that everyone could learn. Just like a special kind of history. Tempting!

P.S. J.H. Leopold, 'Uit Den Tuin Van Epicurus' (1976). Reissue based on 2nd print 1920. Page 65 and 66 is part of the commentary from Peter van Eeten.
P.P.S. The 'witty wise man' (German 'witzigen Weisen) is Epicurus (4th century BC). 

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