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Knowledge and Humanity

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"The whole object of education is to develop the

mind. The mind should be a thing that works."

-Sherwood Anderson

"When dealing with people, remember

you are not dealing with creatures of logic,

but creatures of emotion."

-Dale Carnegie

In "Is There Any Knowledge That a Man Must Have," American literary critic Wayne C. Booth argues what one must know to qualify as a man. And by "man," Booth is not referring to the gender, but to ones humanity - what does it mean to be human? Booth begins by explaining and refuting three classifications of humans: man as machine, man as animal, and man as part of a larger unit working to fulfill society's needs. He then clarifies the types of knowledge that "a creature must have to qualify as a man:" a man must have the ability and desire to learn about oneself and his place in the world, a man must recognize artistic beauty, and a man must be able to think and make decisions by himself, for himself. Booth theorizes that these types of knowledge can only be successfully implemented in a liberal-arts education system, one that revolves around the principle of teaching people to think for themselves. Booth proves his theory's superiority to other

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theories of humanity by refuting the claims of other theories, clarifying their flaws on fully capturing the essence of what it is to be human.

Under the theory of seeing man as machine, Booth explains that a human is seen as a machine in which teachers act as "programmers," and that learning is simply the transfer of data from programmer to machine. He continues by explaining the flaws in this "educational system:" that a machine "can teach only what a machine can 'learn,'" (Booth 3) and that "machines are expendable, ultimately expendable, and men are mysteriously ends in themselves" (Booth 7). He elaborates that the infinite gap between man and machine is a human's selfhood, awareness of being a person, conviction of freedom, ability to love...a machine will never outlove, outlive, or outvalue a human. A machine isn't even aware of its own existence, and thus cannot be curious about the world around it or of its place in the world. Ultimately, a machine lacks the ability to make decisions for itself.

Under the theory of seeing man as animal, Booth explains that humans are just complex animals, and thus can be taught in essentially the same way as animals. He provides an example of the learning process of animals by describing how a pigeon can learn to play ping-pong by rewarding every movement that moves the pigeon closer to success and refusing to reward any movements or gestures that result in anything else. He refutes this way of education explaining that if humans only learned for reward, then all

education relies on the rewarding of proper learning. He also referred to the



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