This chapter presents the English translation of Section 12 of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s text Gakumon no susume (An Encouragement of Learning). Here Fukuzawa extols the virtues of public speaking. He says that the essence of learning lies in the activity of one’s mind, not in the mere reading of books. Observation, reasoning, and reading are the means through which knowledge is gathered; conversation the means of its exchange; reading and public speaking the means of the diffusion of learning. Some of these a person can do by himself, but conversation and public speaking require a larger community. From this we can see how important public speaking is. Fukuzawa also explains how a person’s views can be elevated to influence his conduct.
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