Mirror of Literature,  7 (1826), 66.

Hints on Education and Habit





Education, Progress, Reading, Class, Theory, Practice, Utility

    The writer considers that the present age is more committed to human progress than previous ones, and that education and a free press are critical to this. The importance of reading is stressed, as is the role of Sunday schools in spreading literacy. In addition, the potential dangers of this new found literacy are considered, and the author observes that reading 'without the habitual exercise of thought, judgement, and recollection, is a puerile and evidently a profitless employment'. The 'speculative sciences' are 'very attractive', but when these form the 'principal study', such reading is of no utility. The author pleads against the separation of science from art, arguing: 'Practice is the legitimate end of all knowledge, which, however vaunted for its "power", is, I conceive, but perfect weakness without practical application'.

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