I, [insert name here], do hereby vow to never use, in speech or in print, the locution "X taught us that Y", where X is a famous philosopher and Y is a claim which they have defended. Furthermore, whenever I read or hear claims of the form "X taught us that Y" made by some other philosopher, I vow to remind myself that mentioning a claim in conjunction with its most famous defender does not constitute an argument for that claim, and that it is a defining feature of philosophy that it should have no dogmas, that all claims are open to question. Finally, I recognize that it is this feature of philosophy which distinguishes it from science, but also which prevents it from degenerating into hollow and dogmatic scholasticism, and I vow to maintain an open mind and protect philosophy from the descent into scholasticism until my dying day, or forfeit my right to practice philosophy.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
the philosopher's oath
If you are a practicing philosopher, please consider taking this oath: