The Life of the Mind - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

The Life of the Mind

On the Joys and Travails of Thinking

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In The Life of the Mind, Georgetown University’s James V. Schall takes up the task of reminding us that, as human beings, we naturally take a special delight and pleasure in simply knowing. Because we have not only bodies but also minds, we are built to know what is.

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In The Life of the Mind, Georgetown University’s James V. Schall takes up the task of reminding us that, as human beings, we naturally take a special delight and pleasure in simply knowing. Because we have not only bodies but also minds, we are built to know what is. In this volume, Schall, author of On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs among many other volumes of philosophical and political reflection, discusses the various ways of approaching the delight of thinking and the way that this delight begins in seeing and hearing and even in making and walking. We must be attentive to and cultivate the needs of the mind, argues Schall, for it is through our intellect that all that is not ourselves is finally returned to us, allowing us to live in the light of truth.

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Reviews

“Schall [is] one of the finest essayists writing today . . . a lover of the ‘permanent things,’ always points beyond himself. . . . The breadth and depth of [his] reading and study is impressive. . . .On one level, The Life of the Mind is a sort of intellectual memoir, a warm invitation to walk alongside a holy priest and wise professor. On another, it is a firm and clear-eyed challenge to think—and to think well—about the great questions: Who am I? Who is God? What is reality? What is good?”
National Catholic Register

“This is a delightful book—a delight for the mind. . . . Schall loves wisdom and seeks it whenever it can be found. This love of wisdom and reality shines through each of the short essays in this little book.”
Homiletic & Pastoral Review

“Longtime Schall fans will be pleased to find him in top form . . . new readers will find a delightfully diverse sampling of the Jesuit’s reflections.”
Catholic News Service

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