Chapter 4.

Self

Virtues of Character

The Benefit of Analogies

One of the most striking capacities of the human mind is our ability to get clearer about ideas that might otherwise have been vague or hard to grasp via the process…

Self-Knowledge

Why We Need Moments of Mad Thinking

We banish a great many thoughts from our minds on the grounds that they are, as we put it, ‘mad’. Some of them evidently are: too mean, flawed, absurd or petty…

Self-Knowledge

The Truth May Already Be Inside Us

From a young age, we’re taught to expect that the truly important ideas must lie outside of us, usually very far outside of us in time and place. Someone else –…

Self-Knowledge

How to Catch Your Own Thoughts

One of the truly frustrating features of our minds is that the more interesting or pertinent our thoughts happen to be, the more they have a tendency to escape our grasp.…

Self-Knowledge

How We Prefer to Act Rather Than Think

There’s a fundamental distinction to be made between two kinds of thinking: figuring out what we would like to achieve and working out how to achieve it. Or, put another way,…

Virtues of Character

How to Be a Good Guest

It’s normal to want to be a good guest; an intense wish to please tends to guide us when we accept a dinner invitation or spend a weekend with friends. And…