Word of the Week
“The HEART has its reasons, that the head knows nothing of,” said Pascal. He wasn’t referring to warm cuddles. He meant that we know far more than what we can deduce logically from premises, or what we can observe directly through the senses. We see, in a flash of light, what is good and beautiful. Or we can; it does happen; but our systems of education seem aimed at making sure that it happens as rarely as possible. You can control the head by giving it false premises, and then letting the reasoning machine go on. Lucretius compares that sort of thing to building a house with a level that isn’t level and a T-square that isn't square and a plumb line that doesn't hang plumb. Your walls are going to buckle and collapse. Of course, Lucretius himself had the wrong premises —he believed that the only things that really exist are atoms and empty space — but the point still stands. With false premises, the rationalist will not only go wrong; he will go more wildly wrong than any man alive. …
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