Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Philosophers by race
Now, I'm not going to go on about this, because I can't, I don't know (nor can I remember) enough about the subject, but: I saw a new (good) Jewish book on the חגים in stores, in which the back cover quoted a Greek philosopher as saying that the Jews were "philosophers by race". I liked that line so much I was thinking about making it the title of this blog! Because while it's true that, for example, in בית שני times there was a lot of קריאה, שינון, and לימוד going on, but without a doubt the Jews were also very much preoccupied with philosophical thought, analysis and criticism.
In general I personally feel that philosophy and logic shouldn't just be the basis of religious thought, but of all thought. It doesn't matter where you're coming from in the spectrum of intellectual thought; of first and foremost importance is always using the tools of logic, and of philosophical thought, analysis and criticism, and applying them to every idea new and old to you.
(As an aside I think it's very worth while looking into the writings of the European enlightenment writers (1600's to 1900's) on the ideas of logic and philosophy, because there cannot be a proper exchange of human ideas without them!)