Adventures of the Mind

Adventures of the Mind

Adventures of the Mind

Adventures of the Mind

Excerpt

The mind adventures, and the mind stays home. If this book both terrifies and reassures its readers, the reason will be that it shows man doing both of those extremely difficult, courageous things. And it shows man doing them now. The mind of man has always lived a double life, or had a double function: to go forth and return. Or perhaps one should say, to discover and remember. Either activity takes genius to perform it well, and genius gleams in many of these pages, where the mind of our time, true to the tradition of intellect at its best, alternates between exploring the unknown and reminding us of the known. If either function went by default, then we might be really terrified. We shall be disturbed in any case, yet it is just as clear that ground is made firm here for our reassurance. A philosopher I know once remarked, when he heard that a list was being drawn up of books that had shaken the world: "Very well, but I should also like to see a list of books that have left it solider than ever: books that were mountains, not whirlwinds or tidal waves." Both mountains and waves are present in this most impressive volume.

And they are present in all of its departments. Indeed I am not certain that it has departments. To be sure, the several authors go by several names: scientist, theologian, moralist, historian, artist. Yet in some deep sense they all seem to have the same concern. This concern is variously phrased, and at no point is it put into words convenient for my purpose. But I should call . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.