Saturday, June 08, 2013

Learning and...

What is to power as learning is to knowledge?

A hint:

Wikipedia tells us that 'The word mathematics comes from the Greek μάθημα (máthēma), which, in the ancient Greek language, means "that which is learnt", "what one gets to know," hence also "study" and "science", and in modern Greek just "lesson." The word máthēma is derived from μανθάνω (manthano), while the modern Greek equivalent is μαθαίνω (mathaino), both of which mean "to learn."'

The Online Etymology Dictionary, meanwhile, tells us that the verb "to learn" comes from 'Old English leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated, study, read, think about," from Proto-Germanic *liznojan (cf. Old Frisian lernia, Middle Dutch leeren, Dutch leren, Old High German lernen, German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know"), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE *leis- "track." Related to German Gleis "track," and to Old English læst "sole of the foot" (see last (n.)).'

What, then, is to power as mathematics is to knowledge? The answer here must be a word with a Greek root. And this Greek root must give us the analogy for "learn" that we're looking for, which in turn must derive from Old English.

The idea of "following or finding the track" might be useful.

Lessons are to knowledge as _________ are to power. (Remember that schools are to knowledge as prisons are to power, for example.)

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