Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not the Same Thing

"There is a special case of thinking that is called problem-solving. Solving a problem is not the same thing as understanding a principle. It is, however, the sort of thinking that we have come to accept as the mark of intelligence, and the thinking that some people seem to like a lot. Somebody chose that understanding. Not one somebody, of course, but many somebodies, and I deceive myself and you if I say that "we" have either chosen it or that we have come to adopt it. Certain people did all that. Haphazardly. And now we live by it. We fashion our schools to match it, and measure their 'products' by its yardstick. And thus we will win the disapproval of Prometheus and then perhaps even the loss of his gift."

--Richard Mitchell, _The Gift of Fire_ (emphasis mine)

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