Geoffrey Warnock on philosophy

Philosophers is a very nice coffee-table book of photos of philosophers from Steve Pyke. Each philosopher also provides an answer to the question: “What does philosophy mean to you?” Geoffrey Warnock’s answer is a nice one:

To be clear-headed rather than confused; lucid rather than obscure; rational rather than otherwise; and to be neither more, nor less, sure of things than is justifiable by argument or evidence. That
is worth trying for.

Indeed. But can we live up to this ideal?


One thought on “Geoffrey Warnock on philosophy

  1. This looks to me like a definition of critical thinking rather than philosophy. It is similar to Bacon’s famous characterisation of good thinking:

    “For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things … and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.”

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