Sertillanges on the Intellectual Vocation

The Dominican intellectual Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges wrote in the 1920s a book entitled The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. While a little dated in some parts it remains a highly practical and pertinent book in many areas for those who see the intellectual life as the fulfillment of one’s vocation. 
It is quite likely that Sertillanges would be galled at the obsession within universities with methodology and their attempts to make it almost an independent arbiter of whether the truth of the matter at hand is worth knowing. Although not specifically addressing the obsession with methodology, Sertillanges seems to provide a response when he encourages the academic to 
Flee those minds that can never rise above their academic rules, that are the salves of their work instead of doing it in the fulness of light. It is a mark of inferiority plainly in contradiction with an intellectual vocation to allow oneself to be tied down by narrow prescriptions and to have ones mind benumbed into bookish forms. Helots or eternal children: such are those pretended workers who are out of their element in any higher region…and who would like to reduce others to their narrow elementary school orthodoxy.
He also seems to provide a response to those who, having isolated their area of inquiry and become an expert in it, feel they have also become experts in areas outside their field
Those who think that they understand everything prove by that alone that they have grasped nothing…the man of petty mind imagines that he possesses the cosmos and what it contains; carrying a pail in his hand with a gallon of shimmering water he says “Look, I have got hold of the ocean and the stars”.

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