quinta-feira, outubro 11, 2007

Coisas dificeis

In studying a philosopher, the right attitude is neither reverence nor contempt, but first a kind of hypothetical simpathy, until its possible to know what it feels like to believe in his theories, and only then a revival of the critical attityde, which should resemble, as far as possible, the state of mind of a person abandoning opinions he has hitherto held. Contempt interferes with the first part of the process, and reverence with the second. Two things are to be remebered: that a man whose opinions and theories are worth studying may be presumed to have had some intelligence, but that no man is likely to have arrived at complete and final truth in any subject whatever. When an intelligent man expresses a view that seems obviouly absurd, we should not attempt to prove that it is somehow true, but we should try to understand how it ever came to seem true. This exercise of historical and psychological imagination at once enlarges the scope of our thinking, and helps us to realize how foolish many of our own cherished prejudices will seem to an age which has a different temper of mind.

Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy

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