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Owen Barfield and the Origin of Language

Owen Barfield

20 pp.  
5" x 8"




Lecture by Owen Barfield, June 1976 (first published in To wards, June and December 1978)

Aristotle once admonished his hearers not to call a person happy until he or she had died. When people hear that, they generally assume it was simply a piece of ordinary pessimism, implying that it is better to be dead than alive. That is not what he actually meant. In the original context, he was trying to define the meaning of the word happiness, meaning not just a state of mind you enjoy for an hour or two or for a day or two, but something that applies to a whole life. Perhaps the word blessedness would be more appropriate; because it applies to one's whole life, we would be unable to decide whether a person is happy or not until after that person's death.

Related Titles

  • The Origin and Development of Language
  • History in English Words
  • The Genius of Language : (CW 299)
  • The Spirit of the English Language : A Practical Guide for Poets, Teachers & Students

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Art & Literature and Arts & Literature: General