Interpret a work of literature correctly

Whoever cannot interpret a work of literature correctly will never understand the facts of history and society, or even their own lives. Literary culture is the most basic requirement for understanding. I can`t stand seeing people who don`t know how to read “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” interpreting the Bible.

Studying math is an extraordinary way of developing the capacity to think about what does not exist. Edmund Husserl started his life studying math. He stopped when he found out that to know what a number is is the most difficult thing in the world.
Today we have machines that can make calculations far superior than our capacities. But they have not invented a machine that can understand a sonnet by Shakespeare. There are mentally retarded people who are prodigious calculators. None of them is a prodigious “understander”. Only a perfect idiot confuses reasoning skills with comprehension skills.

That`s why I`m overtaken by murderous impulses when someone says that philosophy is `to teach how to think`.”

Olavo de Carvalho

Translated by Fabio L. Leite
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