U.S. Intellectual History Blog

A Quote for Tuesday

“Scholars who at bottom do little nowadays but thumb books . . . ultimately lose entirely their capacity to think for themselves. When they don’t thumb, they don’t think. They respond to a stimulus (a thought they have read) whenever they think–in the end, they do nothing but react. Scholars spend all of their energies on saying Yes and No, on criticism of what others have thought–they themselves no longer think.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, trans. Walter Kaufmann (1908; New York: Vintage, 1967), 253.