Nietzsche (died in 1900) said things that are strangely relevant for our educational quest:
1. “ALWAYS IN OUR OWN COMPANY”
“Everything that is of my kind, in nature and in history, speaks to me, praises me, spurs me on, comforts me—everything else I don’t hear or forget right away. We are always only in our own company.”
(The Gay Science, Number 166, page 135)
Nietzsche sensed the tendency towards solipsism in people. This reminds us of William James in his classic essay, “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings.”
One immediately senses then the need for a many-sided cosmopolitan education to combat this “we are always only in our own company.”
2. “BEING DEEP AND SEEMING DEEP”
“Those who know they are deep strive for clarity.
“Those who would like to seem deep to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd takes everything whose ground it cannot see to be deep:
it is so timid and so reluctant to get into the water.”
(The Gay Science, Number 172, page 136)
3. “THE THINKER”
“He is a thinker: that means he knows how to make things simpler than they are.”
(The Gay Science, Number 189, page 139)
There is a way to make things simpler than they are without distortion and oversimplifying (i.e., the skill for “essentializing”). Thinking means partly: finding the right way to simplify, as suggested here by Nietzsche.
(The Gay Science, [originally 1882/1887], Cambridge University Press, Bernard Williams, editor, 2001)