In art class, even though the ability to generate ideas is central to the process of art and central to the success of artists, many art teachers do not realize that idea generation can be intentionally taught.
If only they would realize! But those people are not bad — they are simply native to the next thing, perhaps, and they experience the world slightly differently. And so the world turns. When I mentioned that I supposed this curmudgeonly sentiment against progress was common all throughout history, some commenters pointed me to the Phaedrusa Socratic dialogue of around B.
Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them.
You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.
Socrates He who thinks, then, that he has left behind him any art in writing, and he who receives it in the belief that anything in writing will be clear and certain, would be an utterly simple person, and in truth ignorant of the prophecy of Ammon, if he thinks written words are of any use except to remind him who knows the matter about which they are written.
Socrates Writing, Phaedrus, has this strange quality, and is very like painting; for the creatures of painting stand like living beings, but if one asks them a question, they preserve a solemn silence.
And so it is with written words; you might think they spoke as if they had intelligence, but if you question them, wishing to know about their sayings, they always say only one and the same thing.
And every word, when once it is written, is bandied about, alike among those who understand and those who have no interest in it, and it knows not to whom to speak or not to speak; when ill-treated or unjustly reviled it always needs its father to help it; for it has no power to protect or help itself.
Now tell me; is there not another kind of speech, or word, which shows itself to be the legitimate brother of this bastard one, both in the manner of its begetting and in its better and more powerful nature?
Phaedrus What is this word and how is it begotten, as you say? Socrates The word which is written with intelligence in the mind of the learner, which is able to defend itself and knows to whom it should speak, and before whom to be silent. Phaedrus You mean the living and breathing word of him who knows, of which the written word may justly be called the image.
Now tell me this. Would a sensible husbandman, who has seeds which he cares for and which he wishes to bear fruit, plant them with serious purpose in the heat of summer in some garden of Adonis, and delight in seeing them appear in beauty in eight days, or would he do that sort of thing, when he did it at all, only in play and for amusement?
Would he not, when he was in earnest, follow the rules of husbandry, plant his seeds in fitting ground, and be pleased when those which he had sowed reached their perfection in the eighth month? Phaedrus Yes, Socrates, he would, as you say, act in that way when in earnest and in the other way only for amusement.
Socrates And shall we suppose that he who has knowledge of the just and the good and beautiful has less sense about his seeds than the husbandman?
Phaedrus By no means. Socrates Then he will not, when in earnest, write them in ink, sowing them through a pen with words which cannot defend themselves by argument and cannot teach the truth effectually.
Socrates lays out an argument that the written word cannot defend itself in dialogue, and thus cannot effectively teach anything worth knowing. For only through banter, through back-and-forth discussion and rhetorical argument and the working out of problems, can true knowledge be conveyed.
Reading mere words, in his mind, is akin to looking at a lake rather than swimming in it — or worse, looking at a lake and thinking that now you know how to swim. Plato the transcriber of this dialogue expounds further on the concept in his Seventh Epistle: After much effort, as names, definitions, sights, and other data of sense, are brought into contact and friction one with another, in the course of scrutiny and kindly testing by men who proceed by question and answer without ill will, with a sudden flash there shines forth understanding about every problem, and an intelligence whose efforts reach the furthest limits of human powers.
Therefore every man of worth, when dealing with matters of worth, will be far from exposing them to ill feeling and misunderstanding among men by committing them to writing… Anyone who has followed this discourse and digression will know well that, if Dionysios or anyone else, great or small, has written a treatise on the highest matters and the first principles of things, he has, so I say, neither heard nor learnt any sound teaching about the subject of his treatise; otherwise, he would have had the same reverence for it, which I have, and would have shrunk from putting it forth into a world of discord and uncomeliness.American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party [Margaret Hoover] on leslutinsduphoenix.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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PwC surveyed 2, Not all Americans embraced the new way of life. Many saw the United States as a civilization in decline. The original purpose of the Puritan city upon a hill seemed to be slipping away in the pursuit of materialism and self-gratification.
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The opportunity is there for Australia to be involved, but it won’t be there for long.