The library here at work recently went through and discarded a ton of books. The biology books were then set on a shelf in our department, to be taken by whoever wants them. And since I come in earlier than everyone else, I got the pick of the litter, so to speak. Of course, the newest of them was published in 1977, so for science books they’re pretty outdated. Oh well.
On of them, Human Biology: An Exhibition of Ourselves, goes through the growth of a person, from fertilization to adulthood, and also up through the stages of mental development. Kind of interesting. Anyhow, one page struck me as especially interesting. The page has just a few lines of text next to a series of pictures. At the top of the page, it says:
Through childhood, our thinking gradually changes as, one by one, we overcome a number of basic difficulties like this one…
here there’s a series of pictures of a young boy and a man, with the following conversation next to them,
Have you got a brother?
What’s his name?
Has Jim got a brother?
And then this followup bit of text,
This little boy’s answers reveal the narrowness of our first outlook on life. He can see only one relationship – his brother’s relationship to himself. He cannot see it from his brother’s point of view. Before we can understand things properly, we must be able to imagine viewpoints other than our own.
December 2, 2003 No Comments