On June 2, 2005, Theodore Dalrymple spoke at the Harvard Club in New York to celebrate the release of Our Culture, What’s Left Of It, published by Ivan R. Dee. The book is a collection of essays Dalrymple wrote for City Journal magazine, which sponsored the event. He was introduced by City Journal editor-in-chief Myron Magnet. The speech is in five parts, all of which are available via the SkepticalDoctor channel on YouTube. Part 1 is below.
In the speech, Dalrymple discusses the tendency of intellectuals to “ignore the obvious”, because they are enthralled by a theory and don’t feel the need to observe and contemplate the real world.
Education of a certain kind can actually impede, rather than enhance, understanding of the world. It is not to be thought that all education is good and leads either to enlightenment or realism.