Ernest Dimnet (), French priest, writer and lecturer, is the author of The Art of Thinking, a popular book on thinking and reasoning during the s. Notes from The Art of Thinking, by Ernest Dimnet. Genius has never been supposed to be a particularly good teacher of any art. Sir Walter Scott, when he. The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical.
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I have often amused myself by imagining Cicero suddenly appearing in America and being interviewed at the If Biltmore by two newspaper men, one French or British, full of school reminiscences and beyond himself thonking excitement at the thought of seeing the ORATOR; the other, an American, rehearsing questions concerning prohibition or spiritualism, and really wondering if the Acheron is now crossed by motor-boat, or whether the Elysian Fields are properly gridironed.
Examples in point could be adduced by the hundred. Published Ghe 1st by Fawcett Books first published Idea; How we can get at our own ideas; Be yourself; Find thunking and Literary production possible to all. For, in his heart, he knows that he says a great deal for which he would be unable to give chapter and verse.
Egotism, in writing of any art, especially of an Art of Thinking, would be criminal, and it can be honestly said that it had as little a share as possible in the preparation of this work. Apr 28, Shirleen rated it really liked it. As the years glide on, if no noble passion helps them to climb up to the hill brow again, they will look more and more like the multitude, lazily borrowing their thoughts, attitudes or language from the millions. Where thjnking ancestors used to fell trees in the vicinity of dangerous Indians, and with an eye on the ever-ready fowling-piece, the boys of Groton, St.
Soon the trouble is found. Life, he thinks, is not very hard, after all, even if governments do not try to make it perfect.
Millions are oppressed by manual work, either because there is too much of it, or because the life has abve taken out of it by standardization, or because its alternate praising up or depreciation by so-called labor leaders replaces their natural attachment to their occupation by uncertainty and sometimes hatred.
It makes thinking an impossibility until facts demonstrate that the apparently satisfactory notion was the result of inadequate information. And certainly Philinte is no fool; dimmnet is, well hidden in him, a strain of irony which belongs only to a correct appreciation of mankind, but who can deny that Alceste sees realities of a higher kind? The inner words are only an anticipation. Only read what gives you the gr Very old book that I read long ago and want to re-read someday.
Let ghe try the experiment of crossing the ocean on one of the quieter boats without making anybody’s acquaintance.
The Art of Thinking
Then you understand why the more you read of those excellently manufactured stories the less claim they seem to have to be called literature. Make a list of great books that you want to read.
In time they give ot some sort of an answer. Is it not so?
The Art of Thinking by Ernest Dimnet
It is sufficient that some purpose or desire, foreign to the thought or possibility of thought we are pursuing, should step in to arrest the thinkking of effective thinking.
Hence the mistake many parents make in refusing to admit that childhood is observant. The only comparison thibking seems adequate is your surprise when you discover that dimjet you thought was only a flaw in the window-pane really is a large kite in the sky: In fact, you dinnet miles away, and to the questions: I have seen an intelligent and even, at tunes, scintillating man deteriorate long before his time, because he used at first to save every brilliant thought coming to him, for a better occasion, and gradually resent even producing such thoughts, as the torpedo-fish may resent discharging his electricity in the conviction that it must exhaust him.
People who begin to possess a language well enough to imagine that they may pass for natives, but have not really mastered it enough to use it as their instrument, can be frequently detected acting Italian exuberance, French vivacity, or British stolidity. Their thoughts, words and actions have been those of actors.
Ideas count more in France than facts, and as long as education is at one with the pf bias to prefer the art of living to the struggle for life, this one-sided view will go on. America is constantly spoken of as a young nation or a nation of young people.
The Art of Thinking
This thinkingg introduction to life can be compared to the charm of dawn in the big city: But your intellect is only a sort of superior clerk doing outside jobs for you. I was quite impressed the first few times I was shown a school paper, and realized that a staff of boys under a boy editor was responsible for what is comparatively excellent stuff.
At any rate we have felt the presence of a brain. While you say “thought,” is it, or is it not possible that you see a man’s head, or his brow, or the inside of his head visualized, not as a horrible brain jelly, but perhaps as a more or less complicated wire frame destined to classify and keep in place the abbr arrived at, or as an infinitely delicate clockwork? Most of Angellier’s pupils have become writers: It may be that the abbf pioneers brought with them the aptitude for cooperation natural to the Anglo-Saxon race, but could not, for a long time, use it because of the comparative solitude in which they had to live; di,net consequence was that they were predisposed to give it full play as soon as they had a chance.
I have no doubt thinkiing the success, not long ago, of one philosophical best seller was of the uncut description. The wittiest man I have ever known, a French aristocrat, used to produce drab letters over which he would plod for hours. Comprehension is criticism and criticism or judgment is a mere synonym for thought.
The art of thinking
It is difficult to think of history without visualizing great men or some great period, and I doubt if we can mention science without remembering famous experiments. Greek, Latin and French classics stand on the schoolboy’s desk beside scientific books and manuals of history. Today literature has routed all its rivals, even science, no matter how idolized, and it is so in schools as it is in life. Notre Dame is a Catholic college, certainly, but it is that much less than it is a stronghold of football.
I or must do something.
Readers of Boswell do not doubt that Johnson was an extraordinary conversationalist, but how few students of English literature have a clear notion that a decade or two of the eighteenth century would never have been called the Age of Johnson had it been only for the Dictionary, Rasselas or the Lives of the Poets?
Keep in mind that his goal is to teach you to think: What writer would dare to appropriate Voltaire’s verse in Le Pauvre Diableand would dare to say of his reader:. This being the fact, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that education is not the Art of Thinking it ought to be.
Two notions juxtaposed in the mind invariably hinder its working. The best psychology is to persuade the pupil that hundreds and thousands of not very intelligent people before him have conquered those dry beginnings by mere perseverance. So is the absence of all philosophical teaching in the High Schools.
The habit of using three verbs or three adjectives where only one would suffice is almost as general.
How many people, in Augustshook their heads at the world’s certainty that the war could not last more than three or four months? Such periods testify to the existence, not of superhuman capacities in a few hundred individuals, but to that of a happy atmosphere helping the growth of the many. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
If there are those fortunate enough not to need any of the author’s counsels, I still urge them to read the book if only to make the acquaintance of an experienced and deeply wise personality.