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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Philosophical Question

"What is a Filo- so-fer?" M enunciated carefully.
"What?"
"Here it says that Muskrat was a..." and she showed me the book page.
"A philosopher. Umm, I think that's a person who ponders hard-to-answer questions, like 'What is the purpose of life?' "
"Or, how did the Big Bang start the universe", M tried to grapple with this new term.
"No, that's a scientific question. A scientist can do experiments to try and find the answers to such questions. That can't be done in philosophy."
"Or, how did God create Man?"
"No, that's a theological question, not a philosophical one."
"Or why are we Hindus instead of some other religion?"
"Not exactly", I was starting to run out of adjectives that could be easily explained (cultural? social?ethnic?).
"Though it is possible that people of different religions may develop their own philosophies."
M gave up trying to get a coherent answer from me and went back to her book and the whimsies of Moomintroll and Muskrat.

3 comments:

Wellingtonbala said...

Very interesting. You were not far from the literal meaning "a lover of wisdom".

Sujatha said...

The hard part is knowing how to explain what 'wisdom' means to an 8-year old. Not that M needs any.
Just yesterday, the same kid who had cried over not getting an early visit from the Easter Bunny last year announced to me "Amma, don't forget to set up the egg hunt for me. Call me when it's ready, not before."
That was an amazingly philosophical reaction to the discovery that Amma is really the Easter Bunny.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

lucky M. The world lies before her like a land of dreams. The thrill of discovery, the confusion of discovery-how i wish i could be an 8 year old once again!