Still-Not-Dated Quote of Week

[Some textbook writers] see the world around them swayed by emotional propaganda — they have learned from tradition that youth is sentimental — and they conclude that the best thing they can do is to fortify the minds of young people against emotion. My own experience as a teacher tells an opposite tale. For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, p. 24, pub. 1947 (!)

5 thoughts on “Still-Not-Dated Quote of Week

    1. I know, right? I first read this as a teenager and I remember thinking the that materialist, reductionist, we-can-transform-humanity philosophy that he tackles in it was passe and that now, since it had been so thoroughly refuted, I would not in my lifetime find anybody advocating it. Boy was I wrong!


      1. Benjamin Ledford

        I can’t remember if I first tried to read it in high school or early in college, but I just couldn’t get into it and ended up giving up near the end. Then in grad school I picked it up again on a Sunday afternoon and read it through in a single sitting. It’s been one of my favorites ever since.

        Liked by 1 person

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