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February 17, 2020 / Congau

The Danger of Philosophy

Philosophy is not a game. The quest for truth must be taken seriously while enjoying it. In any search a sense of direction is almost always a requirement. Sure, you might stumble on what you are looking for when arbitrarily glancing here, then there, randomly lifting a stone in the road while leaving all the others, peeking in through a window you happen to pass and knocking on a random door. You might find it by chance but it’s quite unlikely. Clearly, it’s better to be systematic, covering an area with unswerving attention, and follow the path to the end before you switch to the next.

But the different paths look quite similar, don’t they? One philosopher reminds you of another, of several others, in fact, and it’s tempting and amusing to treat alike what looks alike, and above all, it’s so easy to do it since precision is no longer needed. The teacher also seems to encourage these freethinking exercises of juggling any ideas in the air and pretend to catch them when they fall. One might as well have garbage cans ready for those ideas, for when they are taken out of context, they have lost their value.

When reading philosophy, we must be willing to go along on a journey and join the philosopher on the track he has paved for us. He may lead us astray, but that we don’t know until we have followed him to the end and grasped his argument; we can accept it or reject it, but work is required on our part.

If philosophy is a game, the truth loses its meaning. Philosophy is the love of wisdom and truth but reducing it to a game means abandoning that purpose. Any conclusion seems as good as any other and blatant contradictions are accepted because they all sound like good sports. Then it’s better not to do philosophy at all and at least avoid moving away from the truth.


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  1. Author_Joanne_Reed / Feb 17 2020 3:22 pm

    Powerful and insightful. Great post!

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