20
Pure and Impure

It is easy to divide a human being into mind and body and (if you are an intellectual) to attach far greater importance and reverence to the mind. To be sure, philosophers must eat, but that might be viewed as a regrettable necessity to be neutralized by edifying conversations conducted across the dinner table.

Similarly, the products of the human mind can be divided into two classes; those that serve to elevate the mind and those that serve to comfort the body. The former are the "liberal arts"; the latter, the "mechanical arts."

The liberal arts are those suitable for free men (from the Latin liber meaning "free") who are in a position to profit from the labors of others in such a way that they are not compelled to work themselves.The liberal arts deal with "pure knowledge" and are highly thought of, as all things pure must be.

The mechanical arts, which serve agriculture, commerce, and industry, are necessary, too; but, as long as slaves, serfs, peasants, and others of low degree know such things, educated gentlemen of leisure can do without it.

Among the liberal arts are some aspects of science. Surely a study of the complex influences that govern the motions of the heavenly bodies and control the properties of mathematical figures and of the universe are pure enough.

As time went on, though, science developed a low habit of becoming applicable to the work of the world and, as a result, those whose field of mental endeavor lies in the liberal arts (minus science) tend to look down upon scientists as being in altogether too great a danger of dirtying their hands.

Scientists, in response, tend to ape this Greek-inherited snobbishness. They divide science into two sorts. One deals only with the difficult, the

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Roving Mind
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 350

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?