Wednesday, November 15, 2006


The word "peripateticism" refers, in the manner of my useage, to a philosophy of, or philosophising whilst, walking about. It derives from the name given to the custom of Aristotle and Socrates to walk about as they talked, reflected and taught. The OED establishes a nominal and the adjectival form "peripatetic" with this quotation:

1607 T. DEKKER & J. WEBSTER West-ward Hoe II. i. sig. B3v, I was so stiffe..I would ha sworne my Legs had beene wodden pegs: a Constable new chosen kept not such a peripateticall gate.
This term is not to be confused with the noun "peripeteia" which is a coinage of Aristotle's from his Poetics, meaning the point in classical tragedy at which a sudden reversal occurs.

The Context Weblog has a captivating article on this topic here.

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