9 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2023
    1. The mathematical specialist, for example, canget further faster into the great mathematicians than a readerwho is without his specialized training. With the help ofgreat books, specialized knowledge can radiate out into agenuine interfiltration of common learning and common life.

      Here Hutchins is again prefiguring C.P. Snow's "two cultures". He makes the argument that by having a shared base of knowledge and culture in our society's past history of knowledge (and especially early scientists and mathematicians), everyone, despite their individual interests and specializations, can be an active participant in a broader human conversation.

  2. Jul 2023
    1. Both the cult of learning around Dante and the cult ofignorance around Newton are phenomena of the vicious spe-cialization of scholarship.

      p. xxiv

      Hutchins seems to indicate that the "vicious specialization of scholarship" is in part to blame for the emergence of the "two cultures" delineated by C. P. Snow later in the decade.

    2. As Stringfellow Barr has said, the world israpidly dividing into technicians who cannot tell the differ-ence between a good poem and sentimental doggerel and "cul-tured" people who know nothing about electricity exceptthat you push a button when you want it. In a society thatis highly technological the sooner the citizens understandthe basic ideas of mathematics and natural science the better.

      The idea of the two cultures had been brewing for a bit...

    3. Some readers may feel that we have been too hard on themin insisting that the great works of science are a part of theconversation and that a man who has not read them has notacquired a liberal education.
  3. Jan 2023
  4. Dec 2022
    1. When writing history, there are rules to be followed and evidence to be respected. But no two histories will be the same, whereas the essence of scientific experiments is that they can be endlessly replicated.

      A subtle difference here between the (hard) sciences and the humanities. Every human will bring to bear a differently nuanced perspective.

  5. Oct 2020
    1. I mean the distinction between mathematicians who regard their centralaim as being to solve problems, and those who are more concerned with building andunderstanding theories.
  6. Jun 2018