Fact v. Truth

“One notes that in everyday speech the word ‘fact’ has taken the place of ‘truth’; ‘it is a fact’ is now the formula for a categorical assertion. Where fact is made the criterion, knowledge has been rendered unattainable. And the public is being taught systematically to make this fatal confusion of factual particulars with wisdom. On the radio and in magazines and newspapers appear countless games and quizzes designed to test one’s stock of facts. The acquisition of unrelated details becomes an end in itself and takes the place of the true ideal of education. So misleading is the program that one widely circulated column invites readers to test their ‘horse sense’ by answering the factual queries it propounds. The same attention to peripheral matter long ago invaded the schools, at the topmost levels, it must be confessed, where it made nonsense of literary study and almost ruined history. The supposition that facts will speak for themselves is of course another abdication of the intellect. Like impressionist artists, the objectivists prostrate themselves before exterior reality on the assumption that the organizing work of the mind is deceptive.”

~ p. 58
Ideas Have Consequences

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