Assignment 1 Essay

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Assignment 1 (Critical thinking and reasoning) By James 19/08/2011 Part 1 Question: Write a short (about 300 words) essay on the ANU motto. Include a discussion on the origin of the motto and what you think it means. Answer: The ANU motto is 'First to learn the nature of things'. (Origin :) (1.Origin of this sentence :) The motto 'Naturam primum cognoscere rerum' (in Latin) is from the poem De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (III, 1072) by Lucretius, Roman poet, philosopher and scientist. (In the poem, Lucretius argues that the darkness of the mind brought about by superstitious fears should be scattered by a dispassionate view of the inner laws of nature.) It is translated by Cyril Bailey (1946) as "First to learn the nature of things". An alternative, following Rolfe Humphries 1968 translation of De Rerum Natura, would be "Above all to find out the way things are". (2.Origin why ANU choose this sentence as its motto :) From its inception in 1946, ANU was built around a group of Australian scholars who had already achieved international distinction, and the first Vice-Chancellor, Sir Douglass Copland, described ANU as the 'great intellectual adventure' and this spirit of discovery is reflected in the ANU motto 'First to learn the nature of things'. Furthermore, ANU was established to be of enduring significance in the post-war life of the nation—to support the development of national unity and identity, to improve Australia's understanding of itself and its neighbors, just as the ANU motto says 'First to learn the nature of things'. (My opinion about its meaning :) We can divide it into two parts when analyzing —'First to learn' and 'the nature of things'. 'First to learn' means being before all others with respect to study or research while 'the nature of

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