which is bad for reasons of its own

celine713

Senior Member
Chinese
The other kind of subject....equally bad as training, which does not fall into either of these classes,but which is bad for reasons of its own: the study of English Literature or, to be more comprehensive, the literature of one's own language.

which is bad for reasons of its own:
what does that mean?
the reason rest in the subject/ training itself?
 
  • chesty

    Senior Member
    english
    Hello.

    It means that X is bad for reasons intrinsic to X but not previously stated.

    The sentence is difficult to understand.
     

    duckie

    Senior Member
    Denmark
    chesty is correct - it means that 'the other kind of subject' is bad, and the reasons it is bad are not related to any of the classes mentioned in the sentence. In other words, it's bad for entirely different reasons (but still bad).
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Probably I got it, I reckon why T.S.Eliot hold this kind of view,what is wrong with the literature of one's own language?:(
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Well,what tortures me most is that I cannot find the source, all I know is that it was selected from his Selected Essays as a material in my textbook, the essays are not available due to my limited environment for the time being...
    However, the main idea is on educational liberalism, after meditation I guess maybe he suggested that literature is not suitable to be applied to a certain subject for training, that is to say, the intrinsic attributes of literature of one's own language, which demand much more of one's inborn aptitude and perception than of training as a subject afterwards? Do you agree?
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    The other kind of subject....equally bad as training, which does not fall into either of these classes,but which is bad for reasons of its own: the study of English Literature or, to be more comprehensive, the literature of one's own language.

    which is bad for reasons of its own:
    what does that mean?
    the reason rest in the subject/ training itself?
    The study of English Literature--For what type of training would it be bad?
     

    duckie

    Senior Member
    Denmark
    Could you phrase that in another way? You're asking if I agree that litterature relies more on one's inborn aptitude (do you mean talent?) than on training? Do you mean the creation of literature?

    I think a person's ability in a given field is first of all based on the person's interest in and love for the subject. If someone is going to be an excellent writer it's because that person has a love for writing and language. I'm sure that is in part based on the person's fundamental brain development ('talent'), as it is difficult to love (live through, in esssence) something that is a struggle to do.
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The liberal attitude towards education is that with which we are the most familar. It is apt to maintain that the apparently unobjectionable view that education is not a mere acquisition offac ts but a training of the mind as an instrument,to deal with any class of facts, to reason and to apply the training obtained in one department in dealing with new ones.The inference is drawn by that one subject is as ,for education, as good as another; that the student should follow his own bent, and pursue whatever subject happens most to interest him.The student who applies himself to geology and he who applies himself to language, ,may both in the end find themselves in trade; it is assumed that if they both have made the most of their opportunities , and has equal abililties, they will both be equally fitted for their vocation, and for life. I think the theory that the mind can be trained equally well upon any subject, and that the choice of the class of facts to acquire is indifferent, can be pushed too far. There are two subjects which, at an early stage, provide but poor training for his mind. one is the subject.....storing the mind with such an information and knowledge as theories are built upon: such a subject, and a very popular one, is economics, which consists of a number of complicated and contradictory theories, a subject by no means proved to be a science, usually based on illicit assumptions, the bastard progeny of a parent it disowns, ethics.Evem philosophy, when divorced from theology...is but a famishing pabulum, leaving behind drought and disillusion....The other kind of subject....equally bad as training, which does not fall into either of these classes,but which is bad for reasons of its own: the study of English Literature or, to be more comprehensive, the literature of one's own language.

    That is the most part of T.S.Eliot's essay on liberal education, as for the last part, I think he treated literature of one's own language as not suitable for training in class..(in his opinon) I am not sure whether I have grasped his meaning in this point...
     

    duckie

    Senior Member
    Denmark
    Ah.. well, I do agree with some of what he says (I think, I'm rather sleepy) - specifically that not all subjects of study build equal foundations. However, I disagree with other of his statements, particularly that philosophy is 'but a famishing pabulum' (I laughed at that!) when separated from theology.

    Why exactly he postulates that English literature is bad to study I'm not certain, but I suspect it might be due to the way it is (or was when he wrote it) studied. I think that the study of literature in school often attempts to remove the soul from the very material it attempts to analyze, and if I was to become a writer, the last thing I would want to do would be to attend a university class on 'learning how to write'.
     
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