Arthur Schopenhauer

4. 04B Essay Arthur Schopenhauer evaluates the need for balance regarding reading and thinking for oneself. Reading has advantages when used correctly. However, when overused, it can prohibit the mind from thinking on its own. The varied use of books is the gateway to the differences between men of learning and men of intelligence. You have a solid intro, but I feel you need “more. ” Perhaps a more clearly defined thesis, or perhaps another sentence or two. Schopenhauer stresses in this passage the negative effects of excessive reading.
He states, “much reading robs the mind of elasticity. ” The mind cannot think on its own and be “stretched” to new limits. When a person does not want to think on their own, they resort to reading a book where someone else has done all of the thinking. Schopenhauer emphasises how a considerable amount of reading is detrimental to a person. Reading simply “leaves upon his mind one single definite thought. ” There is no room for advancement. Thinking, however, leaves upon one’s mind a multitude of never ending, always adapting thoughts.
Thinking never prohibits one’s mental capacity. Reading prohibits advancement. How can a person read a book and discover something that has never been discovered before? I think you should answer this question, since you ask it. Schopenhauer argues the importance of thinking over reading. More can be accomplished when one thinks on their own. In Schopenhauer’s passage, he discusses the differences between men of learning and men of intelligence. Reading is the main cause of these differences. A man of learning, “[reads] the contents of books. ”

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