The Intelligent Individual and Society

The Intelligent Individual and Society

The Intelligent Individual and Society

The Intelligent Individual and Society

Excerpt

This essay will probably strike most of its readers as an enfant terrible sort of production, for it says out loud all sorts of things that are perfectly obvious to anyone, but which anyone with a ghost of sense or of social instinct knows enough to keep to himself. Although this may be a true statement, I am not willing to admit that it is a just criticism. It seems to me that we have not solved the enfant terrible problem; certainly the solution is not to be found by the method of the conspiracy of silence. I believe that it is important to know where one's naked mind will take one, restricted by no inhibitions whatever as to social or other consequences. What to do about it afterward is another and more difficult question which every individual will to a certain extent have to work out for himself.

I venture a personal word of caution to the reader. My reading of philosophical literature has been very limited, and my success in assimilating the philosophical point of view still more limited. I have discovered that anyone with a philosophical background uses many words with connotations of which I am not even aware. I can only urge the reader not to read into my words any conventionalized philosophical meanings but to judge of my intention as well as he can solely by the way I use . . .

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