on not being a philosopher question answer | summary Class 12

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On not being a philosopher summary

In the lounge of a hotel, Robert Lynd overheard a piece of conversation where one person asked another if the latter had read Epictetus. He wondered if in the words of Epictetus which the words of wisdom he had been looking for when he was at school. He had a faith that wisdom could be found somewhere in a book that will make him wise instantly. For this, he had gone through the writings of Emerson and Marcus Aurelius but failed to achieve the desired result of making him wise overnight. Moreover, Lynd desired wisdom as eagerly as Solomon but instantly with very little effort. Inspite of not being any wiser, Lynd does not lose faith in books. He still believed that there exists one such book from which he could absorb philosophy and strength of character while sitting smoking in an armchair.

Then Lynd turned to the great stoic philosopher Epictetus after hearing the conversation in the hotel lounge. After reading the works of this great philosopher, Lynd agreed with Epictetus nearly in everything he said. He found a close resemblance between their opinions. He realized that indifference to pain, death, and poverty is eminently desirable like Epictetus, Lynd also believed that one should not be troubled by anything over which one has no control whether it is the oppression of tyrant or the peril of earthquake. Moreover, Epictetus gave codes to follow in daily life and Lynd found himself agreed to every point but only in theory. He found himself completely unequipped when it came to real-life situations. Moreover, the imperturbability that the philosopher asked for in case of loss of material possession was the result of the spiritual attitude of which Lynd was not capable. He realizes that he could imitate Epictetus if he lived in a world in which nothing happened. But in a world where disagreeable things happened, it is not possible. Hence, Lynd concludes that dream of gaining wisdom by merely listening or reading a book is merely a dream for him.

On not being a philosopher question answer

A. Answer the following questions in one or two words

1. Where was Robert Lynd born?
Ans: Robert Lynd was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

2. What is the name of the American poet-philosopher whose work the author has read?
Ans: Ralph Waldo is the American poet-philosopher whose work the author has read.

3. According to the author, most philosophers write as though life were an argument conducted in.............what?
Ans: Jargon.
4. Who does the author want to conduct the laborious quest for wisdom?
Ans: The authors want the philosophers to conduct the laborious quest for wisdom.
5. Whose son is the slave who does not bring the hot water supposed to be?
Ans: Zeu's son is the slave who does not bring the hot water supposed to be.

B. Answer the following questions in a few words.

1. Who was Marcus Aurelius and what is the name of the brook in which we find his philosophy?
Ans: Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and a stoic philosopher born in 121 A.D and died in 180 A.D.

We find his philosophy in his book ' Meditation'.

2. In what context does Lynd mention Solomon?
Ans: Lynd mentions Solomon in the context of wisdom. He desires wisdom as eagerly as Solomon who was one of the richest, most powerful, and wisest of the biblical kings. Solomon's name is synonymous with wisdom.

3. Who was Socrates and what did he promote?
Ans: Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived between 469 and 399  B.C. His views were considered too radical for the times and he was imprisoned and forced to drink hemlock, the juice of a poisonous herb, which caused his death.

He promoted the love of inquiry that would lead to knowledge and justice. He stood staunchly against skepticism.

4. Why is Pliny the Elder famous?
Ans: Pliny the Elder is famous for his prodigious volume titled 'Natural History' that runs into 37 books. He was a Roman naturalist who lived between 23 and 79 A.D.

5. Who is Zeus?
Ans: Zeus is the king of the Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses. He symbolizes power and order.

C. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.

1. Discuss the circumstances that lead to Lynd's reading Epictetus.
Ans:  In the lounge of a hotel, Robert Lynd overheard a piece of conversation where one person asked another if the latter had read Epictetus. He wondered if in the words of Epictetus  which the words of wisdom he had been looking for when he was at school. He had a faith that wisdom could be found somewhere in a book that will make him wise instantly. For this, he had gone through the writings of Emerson and Marcus Aurelius but failed to achieve the desired result of making him wise overnight. Moreover, Lynd desired wisdom as eagerly as Solomon but instantly with very little effort. This tendency led him to read the works of great stoic philosopher Epictetus whose books were on his bookshelves.

2. On what points does Lynd find himself agreeing with Epictetus?
Ans: Robert Lynd in order to be wise instantly with very little effort, turned to great stoic philosopher Epictetus. After reading the works of this great philosopher, Lynd agreed with Epictetus nearly in everything he said. He found a close resemblance between their opinions. He realized that indifference to pain, death, and poverty is eminently desirable like Epictetus, Lynd also believed that one should not be troubled by anything over which one has no control whether it is the oppression of tyrant or the peril of earthquake. Moreover, Epictetus gave codes to follow in daily life and Lynd found himself agreed to every point but only in theory. He found himself completely unequipped when it came to real-life situations.

3*.Why does the author end with the phrase "it was only a dream"?
Ans: Robert Lynd had a strong desire for wisdom. But he was reluctant for the laborious quest of philosophy and desired to obtain wisdom instantly with very little effort. He had a faith that wisdom could be found somewhere in a book. For this, he had gone through the writings of Emerson and Marcus Aurelius but failed to achieve the desired result of making him wise overnight. Then he turned to great stoic philosopher Epictetus. After reading the works of this great philosopher, Lynd agreed with Epictetus nearly in everything he said. He found a close resemblance between their opinions. He realized that indifference to pain, death, and poverty is eminently desirable like Epictetus, Lynd also believed that one should not be troubled of anything over which one has no control whether it is the oppression of tyrant or the peril of earthquake. Moreover, Epictetus gave codes to follow in daily life and Lynd found himself agreed to every point but only in theory. He found himself completely unequipped when it came to real-life situations. He realizes that he could imitate Epictetus if he lived in a world in which nothing happened. But in a world where disagreeable things happened, it is not possible. Hence, Lynd concludes that his dream of gaining wisdom by merely listening or reading a book is merely a dream for him.

D. Give suitable answers to the following.

1. Critically examine Robert Lynd's quest for instant wisdom.
Ans: Same as C question no. 3*

2. Trace Lynd's reading experience with Epictetus.
Ans: Same as C question no. 3*

Extra questions answers

1. Who is the first philosopher mentioned by Lynd in his essay?
Ans: Epictetus.

2. What is the name of the philosopher mentioned by the person sitting at the table next to Lynd's at the lounge of the hotel?
Ans: Epictetus.

3. To whom does Lynd compare himself in his eagerness in desiring wisdom.
Ans: Lynd compares himself to King Solomon in his eagerness in desiring wisdom.

4. Inspite of not being any wiser, does Lynd lose faith in books? What does he still believe?
Ans:  Robert Lynd had a strong desire for wisdom. But he was reluctant for the laborious quest of philosophy and desired to obtain wisdom instantly with very little effort. He had a faith that wisdom could be found somewhere in a book. For this, he had gone through the writings of Emerson and Marcus Aurelius but failed to achieve the desired result of making him wise overnight. Inspite of not being any wiser, Lynd does not lose faith in books.

He still believed that there exists one such book from which he could absorb philosophy and strength of character while sitting smoking in an armchair. Then he turned to the great stoic philosopher Epictetus after hearing the conversation in the hotel lounge.

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