Historical Reprints Mind in the Making

Mind in the Making

Mind in the Making
Catalog # SKU1078
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name James Harvey Robinson


The Mind
in the Making

The Relation of Intelligence
to Social Reform

James Harvey Robinson

This is an essay--not a treatise--on the most important of all matters of human concern. Each page could readily be expanded into a volume. It suggests but the beginning of the beginning now being made to raise men's thinking onto a plain which may perhaps enable them to fend off or reduce some of the dangers which lurk on every hand.


If some magical transformation could be produced in men's ways of looking at themselves and their fellows, no inconsiderable part of the evils which now afflict society would vanish away or remedy themselves automatically. If the majority of influential persons held the opinions and occupied the point of view that a few rather uninfluential people now do, there would, for instance, be no likelihood of another great war; the whole problem of "labor and capital" would be transformed and attenuated; national arrogance, race animosity, political corruption, and inefficiency would all be reduced below the danger point.

As an old Stoic proverb has it, men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, rather than by the things themselves. This is eminently true of many of our worst problems to-day. We have available knowledge and ingenuity and material resources to make a far fairer world than that in which we find ourselves, but various obstacles prevent our intelligently availing ourselves of them. The object of this book is to substantiate this proposition, to exhibit with entire frankness the tremendous difficulties that stand in the way of such a beneficent change of mind, and to point out as clearly as may be some of the measures to be taken in order to overcome them.

When we contemplate the shocking derangement of human affairs which now prevails in most civilized countries, including our own, even the best minds are puzzled and uncertain in their attempts to grasp the situation. The world seems to demand a moral and economic regeneration which it is dangerous to postpone, but as yet impossible to imagine, let alone direct. The preliminary intellectual regeneration which would put our leaders in a position to determine and control the course of affairs has not taken place. We have unprecedented conditions to deal with and novel adjustments to make--there can be no doubt of that. We also have a great stock of scientific knowledge unknown to our grandfathers with which to operate.

So novel are the conditions, so copious the knowledge, that we must undertake the arduous task of reconsidering a great part of the opinions about man and his relations to his fellow-men which have been handed down to us by previous generations who lived in far other conditions and possessed far less information about the world and themselves. We have, however, first to create an "unprecedented attitude of mind to cope with unprecedented conditions, and to utilize unprecedented knowledge" This is the preliminary, and most difficult, step to be taken--far more difficult than one would suspect who fails to realize that in order to take it we must overcome inveterate natural tendencies and artificial habits of long standing. How are we to put ourselves in a position to come to think of things that we not only never thought of before, but are most reluctant to question? In short, how are we to rid ourselves of our fond prejudices and "open our minds"?

Softcover, 5 x 8, 160+ pages


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