Monday, September 06, 2010


why is it that we're so stupid ... it's not just that people have different talents and that in many perhaps most ways each of us doesn't have this particular talent ... but we're also stupid because we're stubborn ... say we have a mind for universals and a sense for particulars ... so we get to brand as stupid those who don't have a talent for abstraction and as wise those who can handle the details ... the advantage belonging to abstraction is detachment ... its temptation is to a canny calculation in which everything is assigned a number and a value ... every triumph transaction and trespass ... prudence is an intellectual virtue and under this temptation it can become purely theoretical ... and in that way vicious ... how worthwhile is this class of eggheads ... how far worthless are the poor and the stupid ... under what conditions and in what manner can we rid ourselves of this liability ... euthanasia give them a good death ... birth control discourage their conception ... if there's one thing we need now it's a few less particulars ... be bold ignore the sentimental ... be ruthless on principle and stubborn

mccabe on aquinas ch 11

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