The Usefulness of the Useless

  • Nuccio Ordine
  • Author:  Nuccio Ordine
  • Year: 22-10-2015
  • Translator From Italian: Sava Slavchev
  • Availability:  In Stock
  • Product Code:  1612-01
  • SKU: 16.0147
  • ISBN: 978-619-152-701-4
  • Read an excerpt:

  • Ex Tax: €6.10


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“A little masterpiece of originality and clarity.”

—George Steiner

A beautiful, correct, and necessary book...a significant act of cultural resistance."

―Leon Wieseltier

“A necessary book.”

—Roberto Saviano

“A wonderful little book that will delight you.”

—François Busnel

In this thought-provoking and extremely timely work, Nuccio Ordine convincingly argues for the utility of useless knowledge and against the contemporary fixation on utilitarianism—for the fundamental importance of the liberal arts and against the damage caused by their neglect. Inspired by the reflections of great philosophers and writers (e.g., Plato, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Borges, and Calvino), Ordine reveals how the obsession for material goods and the cult of utility ultimately wither the spirit, jeopardizing not only schools and universities, art, and creativity, but also our most fundamental values—human dignity, love, and truth.

Also included is Abraham Flexner’s 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 Princeton—offers an impassioned defense of curiosity-driven research and learning.


About the Author

Nuccio Ordine

Nuccio Ordine

Nuccio Ordine is a professor of Italian Literature at the University of Calabria and one of the world’s leading experts on the Italian Renaissance and the philosopher Giordano Bruno. He has taught at ... Read more

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Tags: Essays, Culturology, Literary Criticism, Theory of Literature

Year 22-10-2015
Translator From Italian: Sava Slavchev
Pages 224
Size 140/215 мм
Weight 0.35 kg
Cover Type Paperback
Genre Essays, Culturology, Literary Criticism, Theory of Literature

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