Active and healthy ageing

Ageing is one of the main challenges of our time. We live longer, but for this to be a real achievement it has to be better understood and socialised. Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) is a complex phenomenon and it requires a multidisciplinary approach such as the one SIforAGE is providing in Europe.

That’s why last Friday SIforAGEGISME and Jakiunde organised a public seminar in the framework of the Krisiak project, aiming at understanding crises as opportunities to develop social innovation, creativity and social change.

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Merleau-Ponty & Lawrence de Arabia / a puzzle for bilingual phenomenologists

This is passage from M-P’s Phenomenology of Perception that I keep turning around in my head:

“Hence the full meaning of a language is never translatable into another. We may speak several languages, but one of them always remains the one in which we live. In order completely to assimilate a language, it would be necessary to make the world which it expresses one’s own, and one never does belong to two worlds at once.” (The translation by Colin Smith comes from the Routledge Classics 2002 edition, p. 218)

M-P provides an interesting footnote as evidence to support his claim. By no one else but D. E. Lawrence:

‘In my case, the effort for these years to live in the dress of Arabs, and to imitate their mental foundation, quitted me of my English self, and let me look at the West and its conventions with new eyes: they destroyed it all for me. At the same time I could not sincerely take on the Arab skin: it was an affectation only. Easily was a man made an infidel, but hardly might he be converted to another faith. I had dropped one form and not taken on the other, and was become like Mohammed’s coffin in our legend. . . . Such detachment came at times to a man exhausted by prolonged physical effort and isolation. His body pledded on mechanically, while his reasonable mind left him, and from with- out looked down critically on him, wondering what that futile lumber did and why. Sometimes these selves would converse in the void; and then madness was very near, as I believe it would be near the man who could see things through the veils at once of two customs, two educations, two environments.’ (T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Jonathan Cape, pp. 31–2.)

I wonder how could this fit with Kleist’s idea that language comes by as we speak…


Kleist elebitasunaz: l’idée vient en parlant

Gogoari buruzko gure irakurketa taldean, Ezequiel Di Paolo-k proposatu zuen Heinrich von Kleist idazlearen testu labur bat, On the Gradual Construction of Thoughts During Speech. Interesgarria da oso, eta arrazoi anitzengatik.

Horien artean, azpimarratu nahiko nuke bigarren (edo hirugarren, laugarren…) hizkuntza ikasten ari garenontzat funtsezkoa den ikasketa bat, alegia: hitz egiterakoan gehiegi pentsatzea ez dela komenigarria. Hitz egiteko, esaldia biribilik asmatzea bainoago hobe dela partaide batekin elkarrizketan hastea. Kleistek esan bezala:

I always have some obscure preconception, distantly connected in some way with whatever I am looking for, I have only to begin boldly and the mind, obliged to find an end for h s beginning, transforms my confused concept as I speak into thoughts that are perfectly clear, so that, to my surprise, the end of the sentence coincides with the desired knowledge.

Kleistek irudi baten bidez adierazten du zergatia: “speech is not an impedinicnt, a sort of brake on the wheel of intellect, but like a second wheel running parallel with it on the same axle.”


Kleist, H., & Hamburger, M.

(1951). On the Gradual Construction of Thoughts During Speech. German Life and Letters, 5(1), 42-46.