Quote Of The Day #27

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I dislike Nietzsche very strongly when he talks about women or marriage–he is quite mad and biased and unfair. However when he talks about education, I do feel that there’s some truth in it.

“Whether his work be done in a primary school, a secondary school or in the undergraduate department of a college or university does not matter. In all that relates to it, he is essentially and almost invariably a mere perpetrator of doctrines. In some cases, naturally enough, these doctrines are truths, but in a great many other cases they are errors.”

“The concrete facts that a student learns at the average school are few and unconnected, and instead of being led into habits of independent thinking he is trained to accept authority. When he takes his degree it is usually no more than a sign that he has joined the herd. His opinion of Napoleon is merely a reflection of the opinion expressed in the books he has studied; his philosophy of life is simply the philosophy of his teacher—tinctured a bit, perhaps, by that of his particular youthful idols.”

“…but in the readiness and accuracy of his mental processes he has made comparatively little progress. If he was illogical and credulous and a respecter of authority as a freshman he remains much the same as a graduate. In consequence, his usefulness to humanity has been increased but little…”

“Imitativeness being the dominant impulse in youth, their pupils acquire some measure of their stupidity, and the result is that the influence of the whole teaching tribe is against everything included in genuine education and culture.”

“For one thing, a teacher, before he may begin work, must sacrifice whatever independence may survive within him upon the altar of authority. He becomes a cog in the school wheel and must teach only the things countenanced and approved by the powers above him, whether those powers be visible in the minister of education…”

“…the schoolman’s thirst for the truth is always conditioned by his yearning for food and drink and a comfortable bed. His archetype is the university philosopher, who accepts the state’s pay and so surrenders that liberty to inquire freely which alone makes philosophy worth while.”

From “The Philosophy Of Friedrich Nietzsche” by H. L. Mencken

19 thoughts on “Quote Of The Day #27

  1. “For one thing, a teacher, before he may begin work, must sacrifice whatever independence may survive within him upon the altar of authority. He becomes a cog in the school wheel and must teach only the things countenanced and approved by the powers above him” – THE TRUTH!
    Good ones. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. He does often speaks very candidly about things, although I dislike him when he talks about women or minorities. I’ve seen instances when an outspoken teachers are censured and silenced and threatened or kicked out. It is so unfair. Power is too intoxicating and too poisonous to our life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An educator does more than teach facts – an educator teachers how to learn, encourages students to think for themselves, to search for their own answers. I think it’s time to put Mencken down and pick up Nietzsche – he’s not an easy read, but I think you’ll get a different perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true. Education is so important to people, especially to poor people who want to have a decent future. Education is almost the only way to lift people up and give people hope. I myself is included in these. This is why many of the negative narratives about education are not to my liking, even though certain portion of it is true. Yes, I read a little about Nietzsche before but didn’t like it, but I feel that I like Mencken’s book about him. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Thay Paul. Always. I have Nietzsche’s book and I will try to read it again. My third attempt. I didn’t go very far for the first two attempts, but that’s several years ago. LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Wow, I guess you really like Nietzsche. I really like philosophy but I know I have a learning curve to climb before I can fully enjoy it. Too bad that I don’t have much time every day on learning. LOL. So many interesting things to learn and so little time.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. He hits the head on the spot about the problems of education. Many students do simply imitate what the teacher says in order to pass a test, but very few learn anything. I do believe that public education does more good than harm, but a lot needs to be reformed.

    Liked by 2 people

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