You are a genius

According to the Oxford dictionary a ‘genius’ is: “a person who is unusually intelligent or artistic, or who has a very high level of skill, especially in one area.”

As to its origin, it states the following:
“Late Middle English from Latin, ‘attendant spirit present from one’s birth, innate ability or inclination’, from the root of gignere ‘beget’. The original sense ‘spirit attendant on a person’ gave rise to a sense ‘a person’s characteristic disposition’ (late 16th century), which led to a sense ‘a person’s natural ability’, and finally ‘exceptional natural ability’ (mid 17th century).”

Maybe it is time to seek an answer further back in time than the Latin world. Continue reading “You are a genius”

A modern mind from medieval times

AbduRahman Ibn Khaldun [born 784 Hijra / 1332 CE in Tunis and died 808 Hijra / 1406 CE in Cairo] gained fame after the French discovered him during their colonisation of North Africa.
He had a very turbulent life.
He paved the way for later studies of history, economy, sociology and politics.
His views have been well received in modern times.
His views on many issues did not fit well with traditional scholarship.
One of those issues is Plato’s political philosophy, which was highly revered by many Muslim scholars.
Ibn Khaldum came and criticised it, albeit in a diplomatic way.
The utopic world, they thought of, was indeed too far removed from the reality of people’s lives.

For instance, he said:

“Government is a necessary evil, but as it implies an inherent injustice of control of men by other men, its power should be kept to a minimum.”