The cultivated mind

Lester S. King, MD
JAMA. 1963;185(9):734. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090066032.
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Between technical education and the so-called liberal studies, there is a wide gap. The physician, everyone piously agrees, should be an educated man. The cultivated mind is certainly a desiratum. But what is a cultivated mind, and how can it be attained? In this readable book the author indicates three qualities which distinguish the cultivated mind: it deals with concepts in a rational fashion and tries to learn, seeking understanding, meanings, and reasons; second, it is discriminating and capable of making appropriate distinctions; and third, its central concern is mankind—that is, it displays a humanistic interest.

To help us achive these characteristics, to help us cultivate our minds, the author sketches out in skillful fashion some of the important areas of human knowledge. From various fields he selects certain leaders and indicates how their personalities, writings, and achievements contribute to culture.

Modern civilization is founded upon science. Aristotle, Bacon, Newton,


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