Saturday, January 19, 2013

That Finnish teacher who taught the landed proprietor's children Finnish instead of French

But it now appears, that all these great factors in the science and art of the past are no longer of use to us. Nowadays, scientific and artistic authorities can, in accordance with the law of division of labor, be turned out by factory methods; and, in one decade, more great men have been manufactured in art and science, than have ever been born of such among all nations, since the foundation of the world. Nowadays there is a guild of learned men and artists, and they prepare, by perfected methods, all that spiritual food which man requires. And they have prepared so much of it, that it is no longer necessary to refer to the elder authorities, who have preceded them,--not only to the ancients, but to those much nearer to us. All that was the activity of the theological and metaphysical period,--all that must be wiped out: but the true, the rational activity began, say, fifty years ago, and in the course of those fifty years we have made so many great men, that there are about ten great men to every branch of science. And there have come to be so many sciences, that, fortunately, it is easy to make them. All that is required is to add the Greek word "logy" to the name, and force them to conform to a set rubric, and the science is all complete. They have created so many sciences, that not only can no one man know them all, but not a single individual can remember all the titles of all the existing sciences; the titles alone form a thick lexicon, and new sciences are manufactured every day. They have been manufactured on the pattern of that Finnish teacher who taught the landed proprietor's children Finnish instead of French. Every thing has been excellently inculcated; but there is one objection,--that no one except ourselves can understand any thing of it, and all this is reckoned as utterly useless nonsense. However, there is an explanation even for this. People do not appreciate the full value of scientific science, because they are under the influence of the theological period, that profound period when all the people, both among the Hebrews, and the Chinese, and the Indians, and the Greeks, understood every thing that their great teachers said to them.

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