The Thought Occurs

The Thought Occurs

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Halliday's Predicament

Kœstler (1979 [1959]: 433-4):
The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass — which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught — but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning.  Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse.  The academic backwoodsmen have been the curse of genius from Aristarchus to Darwin and Freud; they stretch, a solid and hostile phalanx of pedantic mediocrities, across the centuries.

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