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brian0918

Thinking as a Science

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I'm reading Thinking as a Science by Henry Hazlitt now, and am considering making it a regular read, as with Economics in One Lesson, to refresh my mind every once in a while. There are some particular phrases that bring to mind Rand's writing, and lead me to wonder if she read anything by him, or by people who influenced him. For example:

No thought can enter our minds unless it is associated in some way with the previous thought.

When we are thinking at random --when we are day dreaming...--the strongest association, or the first to be aroused, is the one we dwell upon. But when we are thinking with a purpose, in a word, when we are reasoning, we reject all associations which have no bearing on our purpose, and select only those which serve it.
Edited by brian0918

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Another good quote, recommending talking out loud as you think to better concentrate (emphasis mine):

When we talk we realize whether our images or concepts are vague or definite by our ability to name them, and we realize when our thought comes to a "dead stop" by the fact that we miss the sound of our own voice.
Edited by brian0918

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I would say one ought to be careful making these books a "regular read"; instead I would suggest that one construct a list of goals and put "Reread [book title]" on it. My reasoning is that too many reads in a certain span of time may lead one to feel too familiar with the material and as a result pay less and less attention to it as time goes on, making the rereads bear less and less fruit. As the saying goes, "that which is always seen is invisible."

I myself was rereading Economics in One Lesson, but had to put it down (and add it to my goals list) because at every chapter my mind was going, "Come on man! You know this stuff!" so I reread the most confusing chapter and left it at that.

Thinking as a Science is on my current reading schedule, however. I am more enthused what with the quotes you have posted.

Edit: Grammar

Edited by Benpercent

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It keeps getting better and better. He invents a word I've never seen used in 100 years since, that I think needs to be revived: "fadosophy" - fad philosophy that people pick up on to fit in with the crowd of intellectuals. You can detect such people in the way they put down an "old-fashioned" philosopher as being "superseded" or "out-dated" by some new, more popular philosopher, and he gives some real-life examples of this happening.

I was blown away by Chapter 5. Here's a particularly good quote:

Suppose you have made a positive statement. And suppose you later find it to be wrong? Well then, acknowledge that it is wrong. Acknowledge that you have done something human; that you have done something which every man before you has done; that you have made a mistake. I realize such a confession is hard. It is the severest blow you can deal to yourself, and few people will think the better of you for doing it. Most of them will say, "See, he acknowledges himself that he was wrong." And with these people, both you and your theory will be far more discredited than if you had clung to it until the end of your life, no matter how obviously, how flagrantly, it opposed itself to facts. But a few people will appreciate your sacrifice. A few people will admire your bigness. And you will grow. You will grow as a thinker. What is more, you will grow morally. And the time will come when you will have fewer and fewer occasions to reverse yourself, for you will learn to think longer before you advocate an opinion.
Edited by brian0918

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