Wednesday, January 29, 2014

w.c. smith

To study a great poem, or a great work of art, or a great idea, is to become more fully human.

We must have the courage to recognize that in the university, as in all true intellectual inquiry, we are oriented to a transcendent reality, which is simply reality itself.

The principal of humane learning... is that one discovers in the course of one's study what one is after; what is worth wanting; what one "wants" in the old-fashioned literal sense of what is wanting in one's present state of becoming.

Yet by "to know" here is meant something incompatible, surely, with the notion of knowledge as a tool, as though it were external to oneself, were not integrated into the very core of one's being... To know is to become.

The best scientists are not technicians, but profoundly human; reverent in the face of an awesomely given universe. Although I said that the human mind is greater than all the galaxies, yet it is also true that a simple stone transcends all human knowledge of that stone.

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