Monday, 8 September 2008

A relevant thought?

A discussion point, at least...

Over the weekend I was reading the last but one issue of the Times Higher Education Supplement, which had appeared when I was away in Chicago. It included an interesting article on Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, the Ceylonese philosopher of whom, I am ashamed to admit, I had not previously heard.

The article concluded as follows:

Coomaraswamy also wrote an essay called ‘What is civilisation?’ I can do no better than end by quoting one of its concluding sentences. ‘It has often been said that one can be a good Christian even in a factory; it is no less true that one could be an even better Christian in the arena. But neither of these facts means that either factories or arenas are Christian or desirable institutions.’

In this wise observation, substitute for "Christian" the name of whatever system of values seems to you appropriate.

I was barely finishing the first of Roy Harris’s two paragraphs quoted here when I made the jump that he proposes in his second.

I substituted ’conductors’.

References

Harris's quotation from Coomaraswamy is taken from p. 208 of the modern reference edition.

Harris, R. (2008) A song and dance about Western values, Times Higher Educational Supplement, no 1886, 28 August – 3 September, pp. 38-39

Coomaraswamy, A. K. (2004) The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Bloomington, Indiana, World Wisdom Books

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