Liberal Arts Reading Group

A Guide for the Perplexed

This week at LARGe, let's finish our reading of E.F. Schumacher's A Guide for the Perplexed (1977). In discussing how we come to understand anything in the world—whether minerals, plants, animals or ourselves—Schumacher claims that

…we '"see" not simply with our eyes but with a great part of our mental equipment as well, and since this mental equipment varies greatly from person to person, there are inevitably many things which some people can "see" but which others cannot, or, to put it differently, for which some people are adequate while others are not.

Let's look at chapters three, four and five, in which Schumacher further develops this idea of adequatio—that "knowledge comes about insofar as the object known is within the knower," as Thomas Aquinas has said.