Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life

Cover Art for 9780691229195, Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz
ISBN: 9780691229195
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 24 August, 2021
Format: Paperback
Language: English

Patheos, John Ehrett’s The Best Books I Read This Year Seminary Co-Op, Notable books for 2020, Notable Top 12 Zena Hitz, Winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, The Dallas Institute In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects. Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz's own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfilment, Lost in Thought is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought. Today, when even the humanities are often defended only for their economic or political usefulness, Hitz says our intellectual lives are valuable not despite but because of their practical uselessness. And while anyone can have an intellectual life, she encourages academics in particular to get back in touch with the desire to learn for its own sake, and calls on universities to return to the person-to-person transmission of the habits of mind and heart that bring out the best in us. Reminding us of who we once were and who we might become, Lost in Thought is a moving account of why renewing our inner lives is fundamental to preserving our humanity. '[An] important book in which [Hitz] reminds us that the humanities are about humanity, and essentially about cultivating an inner life.' — Paradigm Explorer '[In Lost in Thought] Hitz is asking the right questions...The question at its heart is disarmingly simple and deeply engaging: What should we do with ourselves.' — Jonathan Marks, Wall Street Journal

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