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The Usefulness of the Useless

Nuccio Ordine

The Usefulness of the Useless is a non-fiction book by Nuccio Ordine, first published in Italian in 2013. The book is a philosophical exploration of the value of knowledge and the humanities in a society that increasingly prioritizes practical and economic utility.

Ordine argues that knowledge and the pursuit of truth have intrinsic value that goes beyond their practical applications. He draws on the works of philosophers, writers, and thinkers throughout history to make his case, from Aristotle and Plato to Montaigne and Calvino.

Ordine also critiques the current state of education, which he believes places too much emphasis on practical skills and vocational training, and not enough on critical thinking and the humanities. He argues that the humanities are essential for cultivating empathy, creativity, and a sense of humanity, and that they should be valued as much as any other field of study.

Throughout the book, Ordine celebrates the power of art, literature, and philosophy to challenge the status quo and inspire new ways of thinking. He argues that knowledge and creativity are essential for building a more just and equitable society, and that we must continue to invest in the humanities, even if they do not offer immediate or tangible economic benefits.

The Usefulness of the Useless has been widely praised for its thought-provoking ideas and its defense of the value of knowledge for its own sake. The book is a call to action for readers to prioritize the pursuit of truth and beauty, and to recognize the importance of the humanities in our lives and in society as a whole.

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