Saturday, June 06, 2009

More from Jonathan Baldwin Turner (1805-1899)

Jonathan Baldwin Turner was the founder of the University of Illinois.
"I think the exclusive and extravagant claims set up for ancient lore, as a means of disciplining the reasoning powers, simply ridiculous when examined in the light of those ancient worthies who produced that literature, or the modern ones who have been most devoted to its pursuit in this country and in Europe. If it produces infallible practical reasoners, we have a great many infallible antagonistic truths, and ten thousand conflicting paths of right, interest, duty, and salvation. If any man will just be at the trouble to open his eyes and his ears, he can perceive at a glance how much this evasive discipline really does, and has done, for the reasoning faculty of man, and how much for the power of sophistical cant and stereotyped nonsense, so that if obvious facts, instead of verbose declamation, are to have any weight in the case, I am willing to join issue with the opposers of the proposed scheme, even on the bare ground of its superior adaptation to develop the mental power of its pupils."

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