Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#4: gnosco: gignoskein and gnosis

Greetings, those of you who are in the know! Today I will continue the 4th edition of subsidiary roots that come from the Latin root word gnosco, gnoscere, gnovi, gnotum: to get to know, find out. To look at this full root word tree, take a look at this Greek and Latin roots site, or check out this word tree on a Greek and Latin roots poster. The Greek root words are the following:

Gignoskein: to know, think, judge {gnost}
Gnosis: knowledge, inquiry {gnos}

These word roots are highly interchangeable. A diagnostic in medicine is used to gain knowledge of a particular ailment; a diagnostic can also be run on an automobile's engine. A technician or a physician is trying to diagnose an ailment in this way so that she can provide a suitable diagnosis, or thorough "knowledge" of the matter, usually entitled an expert opinion. Not all diseases or car dysfunctions, however, are diagnosable; they simply go beyond the "knowledge" and thus "inquiry" of applied technologies. Perhaps the patient could then seek a more informed diagnostician, one who could better "judge" or more accurately "think" about the perplexing matter at hand.
When it comes to spiritual "knowledge," a Gnostic, or adherent to Gnosticism, believes himself to be in the "know" when it came to joined elements of Platonism with Christianity. Gnostics believed in a diametrically opposed Universe, where reigned the good spiritual world in direct contradistinction to the evil material world; a savior had come to disabuse us all of the evil nature of materialism, and reassured us of the ascendancy of the good, spiritual, true nature of humankind. The gnostic adherent would be eventually released from the clutches of the evil material Universe, whereas the non-gnostic would be doomed to eternal metempsychosis, or rounds upon rounds of successive reincarnation. Agnostic, on the other hand, do not claim to be in the "know" at all, but rather "believe" that the divine is beyond the rational faculties of the human mind, although they concede that there could be such ineffable entities--we'll just never know about them. Kant, perhaps the greatest of all the German philosophers, touted such Metaphysical Agnosticism, the linchpin of the great Critique of Pure Reason, published in 1781, most certainly a book that a bibliognost would have knowledge of, but perhaps not have read, since even the contemporaries of Kant claimed that the great work would, if read in its entirety, have caused them to go insane.
To return to the saga of Billy and Morgan, any prognostications, or guesses to "knowledge," as to what will happen next in their new and budding relationship? Will Billy try to impress her again with his knowledge, perhaps prognosticating something seemingly impossible to know so as to impress her? Will he offer her a prognosis, perhaps, of a terrible disease that his grandmother has, predicting her ultimate demise? Or perchance, in a milder vein, he will simple predict the weather or the fluctuations of the stock market to her shocked surprise? Find out in the next installment of the whirling williwaws of their incunabulary path joinings.
To discover English vocabulary words at their riches, visit http://www.wordempire.com/ , where you will not only find a plethora (but can you really ever have too many?) of Greek and Latin roots, but also Greek and Latin root words trees that give rise to multiplicitous English vocabulary words.