The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Aristotle on Democracy and its Value

It often surprises me how modern the thinking of the Ancients seems. They were thinking and writing, two and a half thousand years ago, but yet they wrestled with many of the same issues that people wrestle with today. Their thoughts, in some way, could be our thoughts, if only we sat down to think them. (Most, however, sit down, now, to watch TV, not to think).

Aristotle might have had advice for Pakistan, at this time. His words are to be found in his book, "Politics".

He wrote:

"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost."

It seems to me that his words are not without relevance to many modern governments. Aristotle was observing that government works best to achieve liberty - that is freedom - and equality, when all members of that society have an equal voice. That seems wise enough. The odd thing is - and it would disappoint Aristotle to learn this - that two and a half thousand years after he had this thought, many societies around the world still do not afford an equal voice to their citizens. Even many "democracies" do not truly listen to their citizens with equal weight. In many societies there persists inequality and a lack of basic freedoms.

That last thought is a marvel to me. How can mankind be so SLOW to learn? Aristotle was stating what was best, in democratic terms, two and a half millenia ago - yet still many nations have not learnt the lesson he was trying to teach.

Perhaps, at this time, we would all benefit from reflecting on Aristotle's words, on their relevance to many of today's nations - and on the uncanny fact that he observed this two and a half thousand years ago.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and no months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and five months, and Tiarnan, twenty-two months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:03 PM 


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