Dennis Maust | Expositions
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
You may be wondering why I call this section "expositions" instead of "ideas." After all, I use Admiral Rickover's two other objects -- "people" and "events" -- as banner links. Two reasons come to mind, actually. You get to read one reason now.
I firmly believe that, to date, I have had no original thought, no unique idea, no epiphany -- and probably never will (although Pascal's insight is helpful). Therefore, though I enjoy and would rather discuss "ideas," I must confess that all my "ideas" have thus far been mere "expositions" built on the thoughts and ideas of others. By inference, perhaps, everyone's thoughts before me were also built on the thoughts and ideas of others. Or maybe, as Plato points out in Meno, we know all the answers already, and this life merely offers us an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with them.
Hence, I can barely, meagerly, and with due humility claim only to have projected, extended, or expanded already known ideas (if even that). Moreso, I cannot yet come close to a claim of even having grown any already known ideas further into unknown, uncharted territory. I am merely standing on the shoulders of others, struggling, striving to see as far as I can see -- and hoping ever so slightly to broaden the horizon just a little further. What, if anything, will be my contribution?
Sidebar links on this page and additional fountain links found on my web site reveal ideas (expositions) of some teachers who have influenced my thoughts and actions in small -- or large -- ways. If, after reading these expositions, you gain a little insight into my being and becoming, please feel free to send along your own expositions. Thanks.
"Our ideas" are only partly our ideas. Most of our ideas are abbreviations or residues of the thought of other people, of our teachers (in the broadest sense of the term) and of our teachers' teachers; they are abbreviations and residues of the thought of the past.
-- Leo Strauss: "Political Philosophy and History"