There’s always another way to look at things. This observation doesn’t mean, however, that the conventional and traditional ways are wrongheaded, silly, and meaningless. An alternative isn’t always the same as an antithesis. Critical thinking is the ability to entertain new possibilities without arbitrarily closing our minds to what remains useful in our previously held… Continue reading Entertaining Possibilities Without Prejudice
It’s difficult to have a positive influence on people if we base our discussions with them on the premise that they’re just a bunch of lowly simpletons who need to be saved by our enlightened wisdom. If we want others to take our ideas seriously, we have to start by taking their sincerity seriously. As… Continue reading Philosophy With Courtesy
The Presumption of Innocence is understood as the practice of legally assuming that a party is innocent until they are proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. This presumption is not free of risk. Each time we act on it, we take the chance of allowing guilty people to walk free. We make this presumption, however, because… Continue reading The Presumption of Sincerity
Polygots often speak of the worlds of art and literature that are made available to them upon learning a new language. An English-speaking person who studies French, for instance, is able to be inspired and informed by a larger population of films, books, songs, and conversations. They are able to laugh at jokes that were… Continue reading Thinking in Different Philosophies
The value of philosophy lies in the self-knowledge, interior depth, and sense of wonder that one acquires as a consequence of contemplating the fundamental categories of existence. Unlike the sciences, philosophical activity is not identified by some specific body of knowledge it proposes to offer. Science is valuable because it provides answers, whereas philosophy is valuable… Continue reading What Can Philosophy Do With Us?