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Publisher's Summary

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 fulfillment, 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.

©2020 Princeton University Press (P)2020 Tantor

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  • A. Edwards
  • 18-09-2021

Wow!!!

I am not a philosopher and don’t really enjoy getting lost in metaphysical/spiritual thought. But I love, love, love reading and learning. This book put words to why it is so valuable to learn for the sake of learning itself (and to read fiction for the sake of reading itself, enjoy music for the music itself, etc etc), how much it enriches our experience of life and connection with others. I did not expect much from this book, but I loved it. It will be the rare book I almost certainly read again within a year of reading it the first time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-03-2021

Necessary for Western Culture

I love the defense of the intellectual life and it’s articulation. This book helps me to more fully live my humanity, and to truly seek wisdom for its own sake.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-03-2021

Wonderful

such a wonderful, thoughtful book about the value of learning and engaging with the world around us?

1 person found this helpful

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