Subjects — E
America has always been a country of amateurs where the professional, that is to say, the man who claims authority as a member of an élite which knows the law in some field or other, is an object of distrust and resentment.
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.
The public do not know enough to be experts, but know enough to decide between them.
A professional; is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.
It is surely a matter of common observation that a man who knows no one thing intimately has no views worth hearing on things in general. The farmer philosophizes in terms of crops, soils, markets, and implements, the mechanic generalizes his experiences of wood and iron, the seaman reaches similar conclusions by his own special road; and if the scholar keeps pace with these it must be by an equally virile productivity.
How much a dunce that has been sent to roam, excels a dunce that has been kept at home.
What a delightful thing is the conversation of specialists! One understands absolutely nothing and it’s charming.
A specialist is a person who fears the other subjects.
What’s an expert? I read somewhere, that the more a man knows, the more he knows, he doesn’t know. So I suppose one definition of an expert would be someone who doesn’t admit out loud that he knows enough about a subject to know he doesn’t really know how much.
We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest.