Teaching Dead Languages Today: Plato vs. Keynes

In many schools around the world – but of course mainly in Western countries – students are taught dead languages such as ancient Greek and Latin.

Some believe that studying dead languages is a good means for young students to make their mind more “elastic” and help them to learn how to think.

By some others, on the other hand, this is seen as the remains of an old educational approach which dates back to many centuries ago, and that – in our contemporary world – should be eliminated from the children’s school time tables in order to make room for more useful subjects, such as economics, mathematics or modern, alive languages that, as they legitimately argue, have the same positive effects for the students’ mind and brain (you can find a summary of the debate here.

This is with no doubts true, but these people should also keep in mind that if it is true that an alive language helps us communicate with the “others” with whom we share our planet today, it is also true that a dead language helps us communicate with our past, with those men and women who have contributed to shape the world (at least its western half) as we see it today. Which, to me, is not less important than being able to communicate in our contemporary and globalized world.

It may be a little off topic, since it is not time yet for TGIF, but I would like to show you an example of how heavily ancient Greek philosophers have been influencing later thinkers until today:


You might also like: