Use Your Browser's Back Button to Return to Previous Page                          Return to Arches

A Review
Chapter XII
Boris Sidis'
Philistine and Genius
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review


Move to any Chapter of Boris Sidis' Philistine & Genius,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links
ñ says, "You are here!")

Chapter XII


(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


ARISTOTLE laid it down as a self-evident proposition that all Hellenes love knowledge. This was true of the national genius of the ancient Greeks. The love of wisdom is the pride of the ancient Greek in contradistinction to the barbarian, who does not prize knowledge. We still belong to the barbarians. Our children, our pupils, our students have no love of knowledge.

The ancient Greeks knew the value of a good education and understood its fundamental elements. They laid great stress on early education and they knew how to develop man's mental energies, without fear of injury to the brain and

(Our bold emphasis.)

It is difficult to believe that Sidis wrote this early in 1911!

Here is what happens when academia places social patterns of value inappropriately above intellectual patterns of value.

Greeks unfortunately developed SOM. Still, they revered substantial intellectual patterns above social patterns.


physical constitution. The Greeks were not afraid of thought, that it might injure the brain. They were strong men, great thinkers.

The love of knowledge, the love of truth for its own sake, is entirely neglected in our modern, schemes of education. Instead of training men we train mechanics, artisans and shopkeepers. We turn our national schools, high schools and universities into trade-schools and machine-shops. The school, whether lower or higher, has now one purpose in view, and that is the training of the pupil in the art of moneymaking. Is it a wonder that the result is a low form of mediocrity, a dwarfed and crippled specimen of humanity?

Open the reports of our school superintendents and you find that the illustrations setting forth the prominent work performed by the school represent carpentry,

(Our bold emphasis.) assumes that objective thought is great thing-king.

We see Boris' intellectual anchorage in classical legacy via his "love of truth." But we agree, modern education still focuses on socialization and rote cloning of psyches.


He was correct then, and he is correct now, that USA's educational focus is on teaching masses to chase dollars as America's Dream pursuit.


shoemaking, blacksmithing, bookkeeping, typewriting, dressmaking, millinery and cookery. One wonders whether it is the report of a factory inspector, the "scientific" advertisement of some instrument maker or machine-shop, a booklet of some popular hotel, or an extensive circular of some large department-store. Is this what our modern education consists in? Is the aim of the nation to form at its expense vast reserve armies of skilled mechanics, great numbers of well-trained cooks and well-behaved clerks? Is the purpose of the nation to form cheap skilled labor for the manufacturer, or is the aim of society to form intelligent, educated citizens?

The high-school and college courses advised by the professors and elected by the student are with reference to the vocation in life, to business and to trade. Our

(Our bold, red and green emphasis.)
73 schools, our high schools, our colleges and our universities are all animated with the same sordid aim of giving electives for early specialization in the art of money getting. We may say with Mill that our schools and colleges give no true education, no true culture. We drift to the status of Egypt and India with their castes of early trained mechanics, professionals and shopkeepers. Truly educated men we shall have none. We shall become a nation of narrow-minded philistines, well contented with their mediocrity. The savage compresses the skull of the infant, while we flatten the brain and cramp. the mind of our young generation. (Our bold emphasis.)

But Boris, we are teaching all our children to be Politically Correct. Don't you think that is just wonderful?

We cannot say it better than this, even after 90 years have passed.

Socialists! be proud of your accomplishments! This is your legacy, your imminent extinction, founded by your own acts!
Return to Chapter Index
Please send comments and suggestions to:

©Quantonics, Inc., 2000 Rev. 10Apr2000  PDR Created: 10Apr2000  PDR
(11Apr2000 rev - Correct template to replace 'William James' with 'Boris Sidis.')

Use Your Browser's Back Button to Return to Previous Page                          Return to Arches