, a prominent 20th century philosopher
his work in analytic philosophy
) made this highly interesting
list of commandments
for intellectual independence
- Do not feel certain of anything.
- Do not feel it's worthwhile to hold on to a belief by concealing
contrary evidence, for that evidence will surely come to light.
- Never discourage thinking (in a philosophical sense.)
- Overcome opposition via argument, not force. A victory based upon force
is unreal and illusionary.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there will always be counter-authorities.
- Don't use force to suppress opinions which you think are dangerous,
for if you do they will surely suppress you.
- Don't fear being different and eccentric, for every mainstream idea
was at one time eccentric and different.
- Find pleasure in intelligent, not passive, agreement.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even when the truth is inconvenient, for it
is always more inconvenient when you try to conceal truth.
- Don't feel envious of the happiness of those living in a fool's
paradise, for only a fool would see it as true happiness.
Ah, the kind of things you find out in philosophy
courses! Perhaps a philosophy degree is worth something, after all!