Thursday 2 February 2012

Homo mendax

Across the dining room table, seven-year-old Fiona has spread out a half-dozen dolls with whom she's acting out a long, elaborate story. Occasionally, others at the table are called upon to witness a fact, but really our presence is incidental--the story carries on whether we're at the table or not.

Aristotle and the scholastic philosophers called man the rational animal, homo rationale. John Stuart Mill spoke of homo economicus. Others called us homo reciprocans, reciprocal man.

Well, those are stories, too. How about man the storyteller? What would that Latin name be?

Homo mendax.

It makes politicians look a little less deviant?

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