[ExI] conscience

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sun Jan 10 16:42:41 UTC 2010

2010/1/9 Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>:
> This is a curious lexical error that non-English writers often make in
> English, so I assume there must be only a single word in their languages for
> the two very different concepts "conscience" ("the inner sense of what is
> right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right
> action") and "consciousness" ( "the state of being conscious; awareness of
> one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc."). I dimly
> recall that this is so in French. If so, how do you convey the difference in
> Italian, etc?

Yes, you are absolutely right. I should have known better, but the
truth is that one tends to think in its own mother tongue, and in
Neolatin languages those are just two meanings of a single word.

See, for an opposite example, "umanesimo" (which mostly refers to the
Renaissance cultural movement, and more in general to the
overcoming/refusal of theocentrism) and "umanismo" (which does not
imply any secularism in Italian, and mostly refers to i) humanities as
opposed to hard sciences, ii) anti-transhumanism ii) a kind of vague,
politically correct "humanitarian" attitude).

Stefano Vaj

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