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Words of Wisdom

Jacob Bronowski: Don’t Just Think. Do.

Words of wisdom from one of the 20th century's most fascinating polymaths: "The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye ... The hand is the cutting edge of the mind."

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) was a Polish-born British polymath — an expert in subjects ranging from mathematics, biology, history, poetry, and chess. Bronowski was most famous for his appearances on television, first through appearances on the BBC television version of The Brains Trust in the late 1950s, then later as the presenter and writer of the BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man. Bronowski held a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cambridge and authored over a dozen books.


“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye … The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”

Source: The Ascent of Man

Safe to say, if Dr. Bronowski had lived to the impressive age of 107, we would delight in interviewing him here at Big Think. Alas, this lovely interview with Michael Parkinson from 1974 will have to do.


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