Hello, the French thinker Blaise Pascal wrote this when considering the ability of humans to think:
Man is but a reed, the weakest thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.
A thinking reed.—It is not from space that I must seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess worlds. By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world.
This week’s conversation is about thinking: the necessity of doing it for its own sake, and its essential aspect as part of human happiness. Talking with me is Zena Hitz, a tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, and author of Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life.
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