A.P. Language & Composition
17 February 2010
O.C.E. #1: Schopenhauer’s Assumption
In terms of the human mind, we are currently unable to make definite statements as to how it functions and what factors affect its learning. Arthur Schopenhauer was a man who believed that to read books was to limit self-thinking. In turn, he believed that limiting self-thinking was to limit any chances of expanding one’s intelligence. However, the influences written down in bound sheets of paper are no different from influences of the environment and the world in general. Schopenhauer states that “if a man does not want to think, the safest plan is to take up a book directly when he has a spare moment.” Yet, it is interesting to consider that to even process words on a page requires some use of the mind. People do not inherently accept every idea and proposition thrown at them when reading a book. They take the idea and process it, whether they end up agreeing or disagreeing with the idea. It is this process of reasoning that books invoke upon a person. Books do not tend to represent easy, acceptable ideas to people; books represent the area to philosophize, reason, and expose oneself to the unique and infinite ideas of the world. Schopenhauer’s biggest fallacy is his belief that the human mind is a mindless machine, taking in information without any consideration and analysis of the information. However, the primary function of a book is to force a reader to analyze the ideas it has to offer. If everyone were to accept all the various ideas circulating in our world’s library, then there would be no basis for debate and no conflicting ideas. Yet there are debates and there are arguments. The analysis of the ideas present in books lead to agreement, disagreement, and neutrality. Nonetheless, the reader rests upon a conclusion after the process of reasoning and logic. Linda Elder and Richard Paul once pointed out, “One cannot be an educated person...