nocturne pontificate about

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "nocturne pontificate about" mean "pretend to be authoritative to talk about"?
If so, what does "nocturne" mean here?

Thanks in advance

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3. Will we ever understand the nature of consciousness?
“Some philosophers, mystics and other confabulatores nocturne pontificate about the impossibility of ever understanding the true nature of consciousness, of subjectivity. Yet there is little rationale for buying into such defeatist talk and every reason to look forward to the day, not that far off, when science will come to a naturalized, quantitative and predictive understanding of consciousness and its place in the universe.”

-Scientific American
Source
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I think it's not "nocturne pontificate about;" it's "confabulators nocturne | pontificate about…" My reading is that the writer is using "nocturne" as an adjective (instead of "nocturnal").
     

    DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    According to this, "confabulatores nocturne" means "men paid to tell stories during the night."
    I don't know exactly what it means but apparently it is a profession compares to philosophers and mystics.
    "pontificate" means to speak in a pompous or self-important manner (by dictionary).

    Oops, crossed with everybody:oops:
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Just a note - "confabulatores nocturne" is Italian. It is not English. It is not a phrase which has become part of English.

    There is an English word "nocturne", but it has a different meaning. It is a certain type of musical piece. This derives from the Italian word "nocturne" meaning "relating to night". In classical European music, many pieces of "night music" were created, whose names (which were in Italian, French, German or English) included the word "Nocturne". So that meaning has become part of English.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    Just a note - "confabulatores nocturne" is Italian. It is not English. It is not a phrase which has become part of English.
    It's not in any version of Italian that I am aware of, nor any other known language. You might want to ask in the Latin or Italian forums if you wish to know where the expression comes from.
     
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