The Usefulness of the Useless

Nuccio Ordine, Abraham Flexner

The Usefulness of the Useless
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The Usefulness of the Useless

Nuccio Ordine, Abraham Flexner

International Best Seller – Now in English for the First Time. In this thought-provoking and extremely timely work, Nuccio Ordine convincingly argues for the utility of useless knowledge and against the contemporary fixation on utilitarianismfor the fundamental importance of the liberal arts and against the damage caused by their neglect. Inspired by the reflections of great philosophers and writers (eg: Plato, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Borges, and Calvino), Ordine reveals how the obsession for material goods and the cult of utility ultimately wither the spirit, jeopardising not only schools and universities, art, and creativity, but also our most fundamental valueshuman dignity, love, and truth. Also included is Abraham Flexners 1939 essay The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge , which originally prompted Ordine to write this book. Flexner – a founder and the first director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princetonoffers an impassioned defense of curiosity-driven research and learning.

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