2016年2月20日 星期六

Umberto Eco’s Antilibrary...Aquinas《神學大全》Summa Theologica/ The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas



意大利重要作家、符號學家、理論家 Umberto Eco(安伯托·艾可)離世,享年84歲。
重要著作如《玫瑰的名字》、 《博科擺》、《讀者的角色──記號語言學的探討》等。

Internationally acclaimed Italian author Umberto Eco has died, according to…
WWW.NPR.ORG


Italian writer Umberto Eco dies at 84


Umberto Eco. Photo: December 2010Image copyrightReuters
Image captionUmberto Eco's last book - Year Zero - was published last year

The Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, best known for his novel The Name of the Rose, has died aged 84.
His family says he passed away late on Friday at his home. No further details were given.
The Name of the Rose was made into a film in 1989 starring Scottish actor Sean Connery.
Eco, who also wrote the novel Foucault's Pendulum, continued to publish new works, with Year Zero released last year.
He also wrote children's books and literary criticism.
Eco once wrote that "books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told".
"I am a philosopher," he was quoted as saying. "I write novels only on the weekends."
Eco founded the communications department at the University of San Marino in the 1980s.
He was later professor emeritus and chairman of the Higher School of Humanities of the University of Bologna.
Eco was born in Alessandria, northern Italy, in 1932.



Anthony KennyAquinas 阿奎那斯》台北:聯經1984
在 Aquinas (1225- ) 時代 他要去當遊方的 friar, 卻遭到 家人拘留 因為 他們要他當 monk 較有面子.....

friar :會士;修士:托缽的會士,多指方濟、道明、加爾默羅等會會士。friary :會院;托缽會修院:多指方濟、道明、加爾默羅及思定等會會院。monk :隱修士: (1) 度隱修、祈禱、補贖、遵守三聖願生活的人士,包括本篤會、熙篤會等會士。 (2) 僧侶;和尚(佛):系借用此字,實際上二者之生活方式並不相同。

Umberto Eco’s Antilibrary: Why Unread Books Are More Valuable to Our Lives than Read Ones

How to become an “antischolar” in a culture that treats knowledge as “an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order.”

“It is our knowledge — the things we are sure of — that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from seeing and learning,” Lincoln Steffens wrote in his beautiful 1925 essay. Piercingly true as this may be, we’ve known at least since Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave that“most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.”. Although science is driven by “thoroughly conscious ignorance” and the spiritual path paved withadmonitions against the illusion of thorough understanding, we cling to our knowledge — our incomplete, imperfect, infinitesimal-in-absolute-terms knowledge — like we cling to life itself.
And yet the contour of what we know is a mere silhouette cast by the infinite light of the unknown against the screen of the knowable. The great E.F. Schumacher captured this strange dynamic in the concept of adaequatio — the notion that “the understanding of the knower must be adequate to the thing to be known.” But how do we face our inadequacy with grace and negotiate wisely this eternal tension between the known, the unknown, the knowable, and the unknowable?
That’s what Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb explores in a section of his modern classic The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (public library) — an illuminating inquiry into the unknowable and unpredictable outlier-events that precipitate profound change, and our tendency to manufacture facile post-factum explanations for them based on our limited knowledge.
Taleb uses legendary Italian writer Umberto Eco’s uncommon relationship with books and reading as a parable of the most fruitful relationship with knowledge:
The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books anantilibrary.
Tsudoku: Japanese for leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books. Illustration by Ella Frances Sanders from ‘Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World.’ Click image for more.
Eco himself has since touched on humanity’s curious relationship with the known and the unknown in his encyclopedia of imaginary lands, the very existence of which is another symptom of our compulsive tendency to fill in the gaps of our understanding with concrete objects of “knowledge,” even if we have to invent them by the force of our imagination. Taleb adds:
We tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It is an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order. So this tendency to offend Eco’s library sensibility by focusing on the known is a human bias that extends to our mental operations. People don’t walk around with anti-résumés telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it’s the job of their competitors to do that), but it would be nice if they did. Just as we need to stand library logic on its head, we will work on standing knowledge itself on its head.
Illustration from ‘The Three Astronauts,’ Umberto Eco’s little-known vintage semiotic children’s book. Click image for more.
Noting that his Black Swan theory centers on “our misunderstanding of the likelihood of surprises” because we underestimate the value of what we don’t know and take what we do know “a little to seriously,” Taleb envisions the perfect dancer in the tango with knowledge:
Let us call this an antischolar — someone who focuses on the unread books, and makes an attempt not to treat his knowledge as a treasure, or even a possession, or even a self-esteem enhancement device — a skeptical empiricist.
Complement The Black Swan, which is fascinating it its totality, with astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser on how to live with mystery in a culture obsessed with certitude, philosopher Hannah Arendt on how unanswerable questions give shape to the human experience, and novelist Marilynne Robinson on the beauty of the unknown.

《神學大全》Summa Theologica一書分三大部,超過二百萬字,1963-75年有 Blackfriars 的英譯本。
Kenny說第二部是Aquinas最偉大的作品,也是亞理斯多德《倫理學》的最佳注釋本之一。
我則讀過他的美學英文本,因為它是當代義大利學者 Eco的博士論文的主題。
Partly as a result of his involvement with Italy's national organization for Catholic youth, he wrote a dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas and in 1954 was awarded a doctorate of philosophy.
The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas,1956
Il problema estetico in San Tommaso (1956 – English translation: The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas, 1988, Revised)



Benedictine Order :本篤會:為聖本篤 St. Benedict 480-543 )于 529 年創立于義國喀西諾山的男、女隱修會;會士以祈禱和工作為兩大支柱,每日均隆重舉行彌撒,並隆重歌唱日課;對窮人、旅客視同對待基督,為當地民眾服務:指導農業、推展教育、藝術,對中古時代的歐洲有舉足輕重的貢獻。美籍本篤會士奉教廷之命于 1924 年來華,在北平創辦輔仁社, 1929 年正式立案為輔仁大學。 1933 年該會將輔仁大學管理權移交聖言會後,旋即轉往河南開封傳教並興學。之後在臺北及嘉義建有會院。本篤會全名為 Order of St. Benedict ,縮寫為 O.S.B. friar :會士;修士:托缽的會士,多指方濟、道明、加爾默羅等會會士。monk :隱修士: (1) 度隱修、祈禱、補贖、遵守三聖願生活的人士,包括本篤會、熙篤會等會士。 (2) 僧侶;和尚(佛):系借用此字,實際上二者之生活方式並不相同。Dominicans :道明會士;多明我會士: 1215 年由聖道明 Domingo de Guzman 1170-1221 )創立於法國的普盧葉( Prouille ),為乞食修會之一,注重講道,故亦名宣道會 Order of Preachers ,縮寫為 O.P. 。該會對教會神哲學貢獻頗多;著名學者聖大雅博( St. Albert the Great )及聖道茂( St. Thomas Aquinas )即屬該會。道明會 1631 年來華,在福建及臺灣傳教。為臺灣天主教的開拓者。首任中國籍主教羅文藻(西名 Gregory Lopez, 1661-1691 )亦為該會會士。Dominicans :道明會士;多明我會士: 1215 年由聖道明 Domingo de Guzman 1170-1221 )創立於法國的普盧葉( Prouille ),為乞食修會之一,注重講道,故亦名宣道會 Order of Preachers ,縮寫為 O.P. 。該會對教會神哲學貢獻頗多;著名學者聖大雅博( St. Albert the Great )及聖道茂( St. Thomas Aquinas )即屬該會。道明會 1631 年來華,在福建及臺灣傳教。為臺灣天主教的開拓者。首任中國籍主教羅文藻(西名 Gregory Lopez, 1661-1691 )亦為該會會士。

Umberto Eco’s Antilibrary: Why Unread Books Are More Valuable to Our Lives than Read Ones

How to become an “antischolar” in a culture that treats knowledge as “an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order.”


“It is our knowledge — the things we are sure of — that makes the world go wrong and keeps us from seeing and learning,” Lincoln Steffens wrote in his beautiful 1925 essay. Piercingly true as this may be, we’ve known at least since Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave that“most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.”. Although science is driven by “thoroughly conscious ignorance” and the spiritual path paved withadmonitions against the illusion of thorough understanding, we cling to our knowledge — our incomplete, imperfect, infinitesimal-in-absolute-terms knowledge — like we cling to life itself.
And yet the contour of what we know is a mere silhouette cast by the infinite light of the unknown against the screen of the knowable. The great E.F. Schumacher captured this strange dynamic in the concept of adaequatio — the notion that “the understanding of the knower must be adequate to the thing to be known.” But how do we face our inadequacy with grace and negotiate wisely this eternal tension between the known, the unknown, the knowable, and the unknowable?
That’s what Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb explores in a section of his modern classic The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (public library) — an illuminating inquiry into the unknowable and unpredictable outlier-events that precipitate profound change, and our tendency to manufacture facile post-factum explanations for them based on our limited knowledge.
Taleb uses legendary Italian writer Umberto Eco’s uncommon relationship with books and reading as a parable of the most fruitful relationship with knowledge:
The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books anantilibrary.
Tsudoku: Japanese for leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books. Illustration by Ella Frances Sanders from ‘Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World.’ Click image for more.
Eco himself has since touched on humanity’s curious relationship with the known and the unknown in his encyclopedia of imaginary lands, the very existence of which is another symptom of our compulsive tendency to fill in the gaps of our understanding with concrete objects of “knowledge,” even if we have to invent them by the force of our imagination. Taleb adds:
We tend to treat our knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It is an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order. So this tendency to offend Eco’s library sensibility by focusing on the known is a human bias that extends to our mental operations. People don’t walk around with anti-résumés telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it’s the job of their competitors to do that), but it would be nice if they did. Just as we need to stand library logic on its head, we will work on standing knowledge itself on its head.
Illustration from ‘The Three Astronauts,’ Umberto Eco’s little-known vintage semiotic children’s book. Click image for more.
Noting that his Black Swan theory centers on “our misunderstanding of the likelihood of surprises” because we underestimate the value of what we don’t know and take what we do know “a little to seriously,” Taleb envisions the perfect dancer in the tango with knowledge:
Let us call this an antischolar — someone who focuses on the unread books, and makes an attempt not to treat his knowledge as a treasure, or even a possession, or even a self-esteem enhancement device — a skeptical empiricist.
Complement The Black Swan, which is fascinating it its totality, with astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser on how to live with mystery in a culture obsessed with certitude, philosopher Hannah Arendt on how unanswerable questions give shape to the human experience, and novelist Marilynne Robinson on the beauty of the unknown.

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