2. No man is an island — already discussed

Debate top­ic: The line ‘No man is an island’ from a John Don­ne poem has become famous large­ly because so many recog­nise it to be true of the human expe­ri­ence. Why is it that we grav­i­tate towards being in rela­tion­ship with oth­ers? Why is ‘com­mu­ni­ty’ so impor­tant to and for us? What would soci­ety look like (would there in fact be a notion we could call ‘soci­ety’) if each of us oper­at­ed as ‘an island’?

2 thoughts on “2. No man is an island — already discussed

  1. thormay@yahoo.com Post author

    No Man is an Island’

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the con­ti­nent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promon­to­ry were, as
    well as any man­ner of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man’s death dimin­ish­es me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And there­fore nev­er send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

    Olde Eng­lish Ver­sion
    No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
    is a peece of the Con­ti­nent, a part of the maine;
    if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
    is the lesse, as well as if a Promon­to­rie were, as
    well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
    owne were; any mans death dimin­ish­es me,
    because I am involved in Mankinde;
    And there­fore nev­er send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

    - MEDITATION XVII
    Devo­tions upon Emer­gent Occa­sions
    John Don­ne
    Eng­lish cler­gy­man and meta­phys­i­cal poet cel­e­brat­ed as a preacher (1572–1631)

    http://web.cs.dal.ca/~johnston/poetry/island.html

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