Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life
An invitation to readers from every walk of life to rediscover the impractical splendors of a life of learning
In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena...more
One of the great joys in life - the simple pleasure of reading and reflecting and learning for its own sake.
But how much time and space does our modern world provide women and men to engage in such practice?
More dramatically, what happens when many within a society view careful thinking and contemplation, imagination and poetic flights of fancy as useless, freakish or even threatening?
These are among the questions Zena Hitz considers in her recently published book, Lost in Thought: The Hidden ...more
It did not help that the academic world is famously, and truly, insular. Events and ideas from outside it enter through a narrow and peculiarly shaped g ...more
This is prologue to say that going into this book my ...more
But what caught my attention is the attitude and intention of these intellects, not only their humility to test hypothesi ...more
The intellectual life is not merely for the student and the professor (or the childless), but something that each of us can eng ...more
I got the chance to chat with the amiable, learned, careful, and nuanced author viz Zoom and then extended the conversation in written form. She's a great thinker, don't always necessarily agree with her all the time, but her writing and conversation are a tonic of rational and learned perspective in a world gone fucking mad.
Enjoy: https://artsfuse.org/203793/book-inte... ...more
That's not entirely true but Zena does make lots of different arguments throughout the 3 long chapters and doesn't always see to connect them all. However, I don't think this is necessarily a fault, given she is a philosopher and the book is about thinking so I suppose it's fair enough to get the reader to do some for themselves.
Didn't necessarily agree with all the stark dichotomies drawn, but really liked some of the points raised:
- The link ...more
One of my biggest problem lies in the author's contradictory thinking. These quotes are on the same page:
“For intellectual life t ...more
Zena Hitz's book alleges that it will n ...more
I had looked forward to this book for a while, but I found the actual text somewhat disappointing. It's less a rallying call for intellectual life for its own sake, and more for the value it can bring in terms of service to other values and other people. I may be over-reading the authors own biograph ...more
Lost in Thought is a book about the intellectual life. There are many such books. Hitz’s book is not just another one, except that it is in the long honorable tradition of fresh statements of a classic thing. ...more
My only quibble is a confusion I see in the book's ideal audience. Hitz exposits her chosen books as though the reader has little or no prior familiarity with them, yet supposes, evidently, that her readers ...more
I urge anyone else who wants to read this, to be encouraged in their pursuit of knowledge and truth, and to make for yoursel ...more
Hitz does passionately and eloquently argue for the beauty of these retreats, and the importance of intellectual pursuits for the sake of knowledge and ...more
Some interesting ways of putting the usefulness of thinking problems or situations through
. . . leisure can in principle be found and used anywhere, but it thrives only under certain conditions: free time, exposure to the outdoors, and a certain mental emptiness. p. 42
[problem is] the destruction of leisure in the lives of modern workers, the diminishment of their humanity. p. 45
. . . the philosopher . . . is satisfied if ...more
The author's short history possibly applies to a lot of people. Hitz studied at a small liberal arts college in the US which emphasised small-group, open-ended discussions. This is a poor preparation for "real" academia, with larger classes and a rather cut-throat "publish or perish" culture. It's enough to drive her out of academia and into a religious retreat.
These are common concerns amongst academics, especial ...more
So, why Humanities?
I was att ...more