On The Subject of Thinking Comparison Essay by Nicky

On The Subject of Thinking
A comparative analysis of James Harvey Robinson's essay, "On Various Kinds of Thinking" and William Golding's essay, "Thinking as a Hobby".
# 148908 | 967 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 13, 2011 in Literature (Comparative Literature) , Philosophy (General)

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The paper points out how Golding and Robinson in their respective essays, "Thinking as a Hobby" and "On Various Kinds of Thinking," both emphasize the power of the unconscious mind, and stress that the mind is not separate from the impulses of the body, however, Golding's broad and humorous use of the word thinking stands in contrast to the notion of thought or philosophical introspection in Robinson's article. The paper goes on to highlight how for Golding, the mind/body distinction is shown as false through more instinctual than theoretical approaches. The paper reaches the conclusion that while both men articulate similar philosophies, Golding's humorous and practical style seems to better embody the idea that what is personal, vital, elemental, physical and even sexual, is superior to philosophical abstraction.

From the Paper:

"When Golding deals with questions such as: "What were you thinking?" which people cried quite frequently when he was growing up, he fluidly switches from one definition of the word 'thinking' in English to another, without concern for scrupulously using the same definition of thought. As a child, Golding's habit of 'thinking' is really a habit of questioning assumptions, while his teachers, friends, and parents do not. His is a broad and humorous use of the word thinking stands in contrast to the notion of thought or philosophical introspection in the Robinson piece. Robinson offers a very specific definition of thinking: "we shall consider mind chiefly as conscious knowledge and intelligence, as what we know and our attitude toward it--our disposition to increase our information, classify it, criticize it and apply it."
"In Golding's essay, 'thinking' can mean everything from learning, to listening, to showing consideration before acting. "I know what I think!" cries his bully of a schoolteacher, while Golding's implication is that the man has not 'thought'--that is, deeply reflected--upon anything in his life, he merely transmits received truths. But Golding is less interested in showing the fallacies of the Western tradition of mind/body dualism than he is humorously depicting the lack of intelligence of those who presumably 'know better' within society."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Golding, William. "Thinking as a hobby." The Norton Reader, Shorter Eleventh Edition. Ed. Linda H. Peterson and John C. Brereton. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2004. 124-130. May 28, 2009.http://www.smartercarter.com/Essays/Thinking%20as%20a%20Hobby%20-%20Golding.html
  • Robinson, James Harvey. "On various kinds of thinking" The Mind in the Making. May 28, 2009. http://www.fullbooks.com/The-Mind-in-the-Making1.html

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

On The Subject of Thinking (2011, November 13) Retrieved September 30, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/on-the-subject-of-thinking-148908/

MLA Format

"On The Subject of Thinking" 13 November 2011. Web. 30 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/on-the-subject-of-thinking-148908/>