Thursday, June 16, 2011

nous



nous [nus, naʊs] n.
1.) Philosophy
a.) Reason and knowledge as opposed to sense perception.
b.) The rational part of the individual human soul.
c.) The principle of the cosmic mind or soul responsible for the rational order of the cosmos.
d.) In Stoicism, the equivalent of Logos.
e.) In Neo-Platonism, the image of the absolute good, containing the cosmos of intelligible beings.
2.) Chiefly British. Good sense; shrewdness (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Adoption of Greek νοῦς (the Attic contracted form of νόος, mind).

"Ah, think not, mistress! more true Dulness lies
In Folly's cap, than Wisdom's grave disguise;
Like buoys, that never sink into the flood,
On Learning's surface we but lie and nod.
Thine is the genuine head of many a house,
And much divinity without a nous."
The Dunciad, Alexander Pope, 1728)

(The Death of Socrates, Jacques-Louis David, 1787)

16 comments:

Ana said...

I like nous.

Henry said...

haha I like the British definition

Astronomy Pirate said...

The irony is that it can rhyme with noose, which is what sometimes to much nous will get you.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Well, this is news to me. Or should I say nous?

shari said...

That's a brand new one to me! You got me again! Maybe because I haven't got any nous?

JayJay said...

I'm glad that there are two ways to pronounce this because I wasn't sure and tried both.

Meri said...

Interesting word- I'm having a hard time not translating it from French or another language!

Fang said...

Real power is for those who can combine reason, knowledge and sensual perception.

DEZMOND said...

wish we could make some mousse out of nus!

Jay said...

i nous it!

Angela Felsted said...

noose, nous, what's the difference? (Kidding) Informative blog post, as always.

Kicking Rocks said...

that painting is very famous, he drinks the poison!!!

Melanie said...

i wish more people used their ability...

thenitefalls said...

Reading books is all about the nous!

LasseEA said...

Socrates already done it. I would take his word over this :) followed

Jimmy Fungus said...

Socrates R.I.P.

Good night, sweet prince.

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