Saturday, March 22, 2008

Epicuro dice: aprender es divertido

English abstract: Epicurus the sage (as seen by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth) discusses pleasure and learning

Bueno, tal vez no necesariamente el Epicuro histórico, sino el Epicuro del cómic "Epicuro el Sabio" de William Messner-Loebs y Sam Kieth, una recomendable y divertida lectura con filósofos helenos y dioses Olímpicos de por medio.

No me entretendré ahora en comentar la obra, sino que, aprovechando la reciente charla online sobre enseñanza, he seleccionado el momentillo en el cual Epicuro explica su filosofía sobre el placer a un joven y calviniano príncipe macedonio, de nombre Alejandro... Y se concluye que aprender es una de las cosas más placenteras a las que puede dedicarse el ser humano

Creo que la conversación se pordría trasladar a nuestros días, comparando, por ejemplo, el grado de placer que proporcionan, respectivamente un botellón y la resolución de una ecuación.

(Clicad sobre las imágenes para verlas más grandes)





5 comments:

Franco said...

(psst. Gloria. The last image is not clickable).

Sure, learn is fun.
If you get drunk you just have fun for a short time, and pay it with hours of "not-so-fun".

But Epicurus is stretching the thing a little in favour of his reasoning here.
Are we really that sure that getting drunk one night means that you feel bad for the next 15 hours?
Is the old bastard counting the hours when you are sleeping after borracho?
Is the summatory of "not fun" hours really 15? I think not.

Also, accomplishments such as having reached an higher level of knowledge, doing good in your work can be very much satisfactory.
But, who knows why, Epicurus here "omits" to consider the hours of "not fun", the (albeit small) sacrifice that has however to be done in order to learn something.

According to him, the fun you have by getting drunk with friends costs you "15" hours of negativity.
The satisfaction that comes by getting a word right comes for free. And is potentially unlimited.

Eh no, My dear Epicurus! The example is not well placed.
If you are to explain a kid that it's better to study than doing violent things, you don't do it by - knowingly, I may add - cheating him by telling that it's "more fun".
You must tell him the truth. Studying is better than searching pleasure trough violent, not healthy habits because, mostly, of its consequences, and because the former makes you become a better person.
You don't lie to the kid omitting the fact that no "negativity" is required. You explain him that the negativity, the sacrifice is required, is tolerable, and is, in the end, more rewarding.

But if you, dear Epicurus, try to cheat him with clever dialectics and rethorics, abusing of the fact that he's still a simple child, then I'm sorry but I'd prefer a thousand times Alejandro's naiveté and spontaneity than your deceitful paternalistic "wisdom".

Sorry for the long comment, Gloria ;)

Francesco

Jaime Sirvent said...

Gran post Gloria, me ha encantado recordar este cómic. Fue una lectura divertídisima en su momento, y además tiene una gran utilidad pedagógica. Yo lo pondría como lectura si diera clase, una pena que no se use más el cómic en las aulas.

Gloria said...

Francesco... Thanks for the warning! Now the image link has been fixed (I think).

And hey! no problemo about comments being long ;D

Re Epicurus tricking Alex... Well, I fear that this three pages, out of context, may give the impression that Epicurus is tricking the Macedonian, but in context with the rest of the comic I don't think it is so... I don't see Epicurus as someone trying to sell a bad article through deceitful words, rather, seeing that Alex is so sure about his way of life, he just uses a little paradox to make Alex consider both drinking and grammar under a new light: I'm 100% sure that, after the exchange, Alex STILL will love to get drunk with the friends, but he may consider studying a bit differently.

The comic is not about the sage being right and Alex wrong: Epicurus and his filosophy, although treated with sympathy by the writer, are not excluded from criticism or satire: Messner Loebs makes fun of both Alex and Epicurus, and the story (with many other pilosophers, and their ideas, being in comic display) is a tale where the very differing ideas of Alex and Epicurus ultimately work well when combined... Alex tendency to solve Gordian knots by just cutting them are as effective as Epicurus reflections and advocating for a modeate behaviour, and it's also effective for laughs.

Though, on a more serious light, I agree with you that telling the plain truth may be, in the end, more practical.

Gloria said...

Jaime, Bueno, el mérito del post recae en los autores del cómic... yo me he limitado a hacer una pequeña introducción.

Si, yo creo que seria una buena lectura para los estudiantes de primer ciclo de secundaria que empiezan a estudiar filosofia

De hecho, creo que, hay muchos comics que serian una excelente ayuda para los profesores: quizás no en el aspecto de dedicar las clases a los tebeos en vez de a los libros, pero si que estaría bien que las bibliotecas escolares estuvieran surtidas de buenos cómics y los profes animaran a su lectura como complemento, o iniciación a la literatura propiamente dicha... p.e. Recomendar "La edad de bronce" de Eric Shanover como anzuelo para leer Homero.

De hecho, yo sólo he leido a Homero fragmentariamente, y dentro de lo que se enseñaba en clase, Y Shanover me ha picado la curiosidad de darle un tiento al original que le ha inspirado un día de estos.

Jaime Sirvent said...

"si que estaría bien que las bibliotecas escolares estuvieran surtidas de buenos cómics y los profes animaran a su lectura como complemento, o iniciación a la literatura propiamente dicha... "

Totalmente de acuerdo, Gloria, el cómic es una herramienta utilísima para iniciar a la lectura de libros a los chavales. Además lo ideal sería que no abandonaran los primeros por los segundos y que continuaran leyendo ambas cosas.

 
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