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Ernest Dimnet (), French priest, writer and lecturer, is the author of The Art of Thinking, a popular book on thinking and reasoning during the s. Notes from The Art of Thinking, by Ernest Dimnet. Genius has never been supposed to be a particularly good teacher of any art. Sir Walter Scott, when he. The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical.

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A dinnet of seldom experienced and consequently more valued intellectual impressions, with the sensation of an unwonted warmth round the heart, are known to all men and women.

Some of them do so in admirable speeches or books, others in the picturesque language of the artist, but, whatever the vehicle, the devotion to truth remains visible. Naturally they are, every one of them, about you, and that is as it should be. This genius, every time he was compelled to write, relapsed into the state of mind in which he used to be, years before, when going through examinations at the Sorbonne.

Ernest Dimnet – Wikipedia

Frequently he asks no questions at all, and his attitude is the “Tell us” which Madame de Maintenon used to hold up to contempt to the Saint-Cyr girls and which some American college professors have told me is likely to be retranslated in American college English into the blunt: To ask other readers questions about The Art of Thinkingplease sign up.

Are not only their attitudes, but even their attitude before life, copied from models approved for standardization? Exactly the same phenomenon can take place in our minds. The requirements of this mass still fashion the educational methods instead of the mass being fashioned by them, and no amount of testing, trying, or theorizing has, as yet been able to change this preposterous situation. The best psychology is to persuade the pupil that hundreds and thousands of not very intelligent people before him have conquered those dry beginnings by mere perseverance.

Gregariousness is an instinct nearly akin to imitativeness and tending to develop it.

It is difficult to think of history without visualizing great men or some great period, and I doubt if we can mention science without remembering famous experiments. Dimnet abbbe up the fact that we too often only “think of thinking” about something instead of actually thinking. Most intelligent children, as was the case with Newman, have the philosopher’s doubts about the existence of the world. At all events, their descendants are the most social people on the planet.


The author of this book is certainly not prepared to say that he has acted, or even is now acting, up to his own principles; still he is not bragging in saying that he has probably felt their value more than many people nearer to genius than he is.

Most people who, in perfect good faith, tackle psychoanalysis, in the hope of bettering themselves, are repulsed by the fact that practically thjnking Freudians seem interested only in medical cases.

The art of thinking

So we can be our own judges. We feel sure that dimnft are not infrequently conscious of conclusions, practical or speculative arrived at without the help of images.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The teaching is first-rate, the methods are far more thorough than those used in the classical courses, the wish to succeed and the effort towards success cannot be questioned. Asanda rated it really liked it Jun 15, Some people who think freely and charmingly in speaking seem to put their minds in a strait-jacket the moment they begin to write.

Arturo Herrera Colmenero rated it really liked it Feb 12, Half an hour passes without one of these young men getting tired of this scene, however mute, and entirely given up to thought. This superiority of intellect persists until the child’s imitativeness begins to work from the outside in. Few students who have completely annexed a foreign language have escaped that rather ignominious phase; and they must admit that, as long as it lasted, their thoughts were not quite their own, but the zrt of some fancied Italian, French, or English type.


It at Angellier’s own description of Robert Burns in the Edinburgh drawing-rooms. That those images closely correspond to wishes or repulsions, to things we want or do not want, so that this wanting or not wanting seems to be the ultimate motive power in our psychology, probably in dimnef with elementary conditions in our being.

It is so with everybody. Anybody who has disturbed the files of early American newspapers or reviews does not hesitate to give this question a negative answer. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.


It is little more than a soft accompaniment to the working of the mind, as the hum of the spinning-wheel is to Marguerite’s reverie. Doug rated it liked it Jun 05, Americanization, the transforming of foreign dissimilarity into American conformity, is not done, as Americanizing centres imagine, by the substitution of a new set of ideas for another The thing is done more simply.

Nothing is as exciting as the hunt after thoughts or facts intended to elucidate a question we think vital to us, and the enjoyment of writing when the hunt has been successful is an unparalleled reward for intellectual honesty.

Dimnet’s “The art of thinking” invites the reader into a state of honesty where he evaluates himself as a thoughtful human being. In both cases the capacity for right thinking is impaired and a lifetime may be necessary to correct the initial mistake.

The Art of Thinking

Social intercourse with its requirements and its indulgence,—its hypocrisy, to call it by its name,—is highly productive of thought-hindering insincerity. I love cats as much as you hate fools. But the resistance of the unwieldy mass, so far, is too great. Think of the delightful smile of the old Maryland negress whom you foolishly ask about her age. In a few moments his magnificent head bends toward the patient and a scene, unforgettable to those who once ghe it, begins.

Ernest Dimnet

Greek, Latin and French classics stand on the schoolboy’s desk beside scientific books and manuals of history.

My surprise was great when I saw an American poet who shows no small pretensions to scholarship entitling one of his poems Pueribus!

Some people imagine they have to write a book as, at fifteen, they had to write an essay, whether they liked it or not. Cannot you remember looking for long spells at a mere patch of red on a sheet of paper or o your little paint-box? These trains are invariably produced by some image tginking whose wake they follow.

The superiority of an artist to a society man or woman who is nothing else is undisputed, and it comes from no other cause than the superiority of one class of images to another. Obstacles To Thought 5.