Who is Better Learned

“Exclaim to our people about a passer-by: ‘Oh, what a learned man!’ and about another ‘Oh, what a good man!’ They will not fail to turn their eyes and their respect toward the first. There should be a third exclamation: ‘Oh, what blockheads!’ We are eager to inquire: ‘Does he know Greek or Latin? Does he write in verse or in prose?’ But whether he has become better or wiser, which would be the main thing, that is left out. We should have asked who is better learned, not who is more learned.” (I:25, 121, Frame)

William James, The Social Value of the College-Bred:

“Of what use is a college training? We who have had it seldom hear the question raised — we might be a little nonplussed to answer it offhand. A certain amount of meditation has brought me to this as the pithiest reply which I myself can give: The best claim that a college education can possibly make on your respect, the best thing it can aspire to accomplish for you, is this: that it should help you to know a good man when you see him. This is as true of women’s as of men’s colleges; but that it is neither a joke nor a one-sided abstraction I shall now endeavor to show.”