. Directions for the attainment of useful knowledge
. The different modes of learning compared: observation, reading, instruction, conversation, and study
. Notes on learning a foreign language
. Dealing with disputes in a logical way
. Enlarging the capacity of the mind and improving the memory
. Overcoming prejudices
. And much more.
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THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE MIND. PART I. DIRECTIONS FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE'.- :pp . : - INTRODUCTION. No man is obliged to learn and know every thing; this can neither be sought nor required, for it is utterly impossible; yet all persons are under some obligation to improve their own understanding; otherwise it will be a barren desert, or a forest overgrown with weeds and brambles. Universal ignorance or infinite errors will overspread the mind which is utterly neglected and lies without any cultivation. Skill in the sciences is indeed the business and profession of but a small part of mankind; but there are many others placed in such an exalted rank in the world, as allows them much leisure and large opportunities to cultivate their reason, and to beautify and enrich their minds with various knowledge. Even the lower orders of men have particular callings in life, wherein they ought to acquire a just degree of skill; and this is not to be done well, without thinking and reasoning about them. The common duties and benefits of society, which belong to every man living, as we are social creatures, and even our native and necessary relations to a family, a neighborhood, or government, oblige all persons, whatsoever, to use their reasoning powers upon a thousand occasions; every hour of life calls for some regular exercise of our judgment, as to time and things, persons and actions: without a prudent and discreet determination in matters before us, we shall be plunged into perpetual errors in our conduct. Now that which should always be practiced must at some time be learned. Besides, every son and daughter of Adam has a most important concern in the affairs ofthe life to come, and therefore it is "a matter of the highest moment, for every one t...
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