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Home » The 10 Books Nobody Should Be Allowed to Die Without Reading: Dr. Peter Kreeft (Transcript)

The 10 Books Nobody Should Be Allowed to Die Without Reading: Dr. Peter Kreeft (Transcript)

Full text of author Dr. Peter Kreeft’s lecture titled ‘The 10 Books Nobody Should Be Allowed to Die Without Reading’.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Peter Kreeft – Professor of Philosophy at Boston College

I thought I would give you something practical rather than theoretical today, since philosophers are usually very good at theory and very bad at practice, which is why every philosopher needs a wife.

BOOKS. The number one piece of educational technology that has ever been invented. The only thing that might rival books as a means to the end of education would be asking honest but dumb questions. Many of the greatest discoveries in history were made by asking really stupid questions.

WELL, WHAT IS A BOOK?

A book is a way of connecting with another person’s mind. We have two ways of sharing our mind with other people: speaking and writing.

And speaking transcends space. What I’m doing now is communicating something of my mind to you through my mouth and your ears, which are separated by a considerable space.

Writing does more than that. Writing also transcends time. You write something down, and then you send it through the mail, or you print it and have people read it years later, or sometimes centuries later. And it’s almost as if you’re still alive. When you’re reading a book written by a dead person, you’re in contact with his ghost, that is, with his spirit, with his mind. It’s a marvelous invention.

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