Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The treacherous philosopher

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Morally, a philosopher who uses his professional competence for anything except a disinterested search for truth is guilty of a kind of treachery. And when he assumes, in advance of inquiry, that certain beliefs, whether true or false, are such as to promote good behavior, he is so limiting the scope of philosophical speculation as to make philosophy trivial; the true philosopher is prepared to examine all preconceptions. When any limits are placed, consciously or unconsciously, upon the pursuit of truth, philosophy becomes paralyzed by fear, and the ground is prepared for a government censorship punishing those who utter “dangerous thoughts”—in fact, the philosopher has already placed such a censorship over his own investigations.

Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

Written by nevalalee

July 1, 2018 at 7:30 am

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