Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Waking Up

"The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. Philosophy... is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom... it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never traveled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect." -Bertrand Russell


biggins said...

Wow, wonderful quote. The one thing I think I like most about life is that it is not definite, finite or obvious. I also like the phrase "the region of liberating doubt." I think that region is a small area that is precariously close to crippling doubt, but one that needs to be visited anyways, at least sometimes. Also, it would be a good name for a blog.

I like the idea of trying to have common objects rouse questions and to not contemptuously reject unfamiliar possibilities. In a word, I feel like I'm too often subject to the tyranny of custom. How do you get out of that? Is simply exploring and talking about new ideas enough?

Scot said...

Nice quote. Gotta love Bertrand Russell.

J G-W said...

Deliberate reason. Imagine that. Thinking something through, carefully and deliberately, weighing the facts, and then moving forward based on the insights that affords you.

That is SO what America is all not about right at this present moment.