Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-x5gtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-29T13:23:44.628Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 21 - On learning and the learned

from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA, VOLUME 2

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2015

Adrian Del Caro
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee
Christopher Janaway
Affiliation:
University of Southampton
Get access

Summary

§244

When we see the many and manifold institutions of teaching and learning and the great throng of pupils and masters, one could think that the human race is quite keen about insight and truth. But here appearance is deceiving. The masters teach in order to earn money and they do not strive for truth, but for its appearance and standing; the pupils do not learn in order to attain knowledge and insight, but in order to babble and give themselves airs. Thus a new generation like this appears every thirty years, a wide-eyed child, knowing nothing and in all haste summarily devouring the results of human knowledge accumulated over thousands of years, and then claiming to be smarter than all the past. For this purpose he attends universities and reaches for books, moreover for the newest ones as his contemporaries and peers. Everything has to be brief and new, just as he is new! Then he gets ready to start judging. – I have not even taken into account here the actual professions.

§245

Students and scholars of all kinds and every age as a rule are only focused on information, not on insight. They make it a point of honour to have information about everything, about all rocks, plants, battles, experiments and especially about every manner of book. It does not occur to them that information is a mere means to insight, having little or no value in itself, whereas it is the way of thinking that characterizes philosophical minds. Occasionally, when I consider the impressive erudition of these know-it-alls I say to myself: oh how little they have had to think about, in order to have been able to read so much! Even when it is reported of the elder Pliny that he was constantly reading, or having things read to him at the table, on trips, in the bath and so on, the question arises for me whether the man was so terribly lacking in thoughts of his own that those of others had to be incessantly transfused to him, just as a consommé is given to a consumptive to keep him alive. And neither his undiscriminating gullibility nor his unspeakably repulsive, incomprehensible, and paper-saving collectanea style does anything to give me a high opinion of his capacity to think for himself.

Type
Chapter
Information
Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Short Philosophical Essays
, pp. 430 - 440
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×