Ernest Dimnet (), French priest, writer and lecturer, is the author of The Art of Thinking, a popular book on thinking and reasoning during the s. Notes from The Art of Thinking, by Ernest Dimnet. Genius has never been supposed to be a particularly good teacher of any art. Sir Walter Scott, when he. The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical.

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But he was not Alfred de Musset, alas!

The notion gives him a horror for the smells of Italy. Some men possess it, others not; but those who do not possess it must blame themselves.

The Art of Thinking

He is far inferior, in cultural respect, to the Americans of thinkig years ago. Foreigners who make in France a stay of sufficient duration to be personally affected by the numerous shortcomings in the official life of the nation are invariably puzzled.

When we look in we are conscious of the perpetual motion, but, if we do more than merely peep and at once look away, we promptly notice the circular displacement and vimnet of whole psychological trains.

This too is known to all literary people. What does one hear at picture exhibitions?

The reader finds in it suggestions of ways to estimate the quality of his qrt thinking Do they not consist of clothes, fashions, mannerisms, formulas listen to what you hear at the opera or at art exhibitions?


Sometimes we are aware of a succession of images driving, in fact, telescoping, one another toward a worded conclusion with extraordinary rapidity. When Jack begins to copy Daddy’s way of shaking his head or shrugging his shoulders, his poor little soul also begins to be satisfied with dismissing questions. But no attempt at brightening it with Alma-Tadema pictures can conjure away the declensions, conjugations and modes.

Nowhere is it so apparent as in the United States. He shaves off his moustache and has his hair cut in the most military style. What is the power of a Napoleon, even of a Mussolini?

This phenomenon cannot but give us an exalted idea of the greatness of thought. Then you understand why the more you read of those excellently manufactured stories the less claim they seem to have to be called literature.

The Art of Thinking

I would sit there for hours, as a boy, thinking. Return to Book Page. Is this a real intuition? Men of the intellectual type of Mr. A French teacher, in Paris especially, is unlikely to dispel this fallacy, for he himself is a prey to it, Count the masters in English and especially in American schools, who publish books.

What is to be done? Both men will think the thoughts of their environment, not their own, and education, which is nothing if it is not an applied Art of Thinking for one’s self, will be to blame for this result.

I assure you I am following you closely; yet, I must admit that I am not trying to memorize what you say: With closed eyes and a marvelous receptivity over his face, Potain listens.

The list of such influences hindering a gifted man’s thinking could be endless. It may be because most of these theorists never had any experience of that wild unbroken thing, a class, and imagine that what they now are they already were at twelve or fourteen.


It wrestles with life and often gets beaten, but the struggle compels our homage. Einstein’s denial of the principle that two parallels can never meet is another stupendous proof of intellectual independence. Always have a writing pad or good book. Charles rated it really liked it Feb 28, Most of Angellier’s pupils have become writers: Here are the four conjugations, not one less than last time the book was opened, and as merciless as ever. Unless he feel powerful enough to take this ordeal as a matter of course he is apt to think too continuously of this inevitable exposition of himself, and the consciousness of it is a weakening phantasm.

Certainly he had a head which even conventionality at its worst could not pass by, a superb head so well poised on athletic shoulders that many people imagined the man was tall, though he was not. Even that perfect collector of mere facts, that incarnation of unperturbed erudition, old Varro, has noted it.

Examples in point could be adduced by the hundred.