Saturday, March 22, 2014

There's no courage in holding strong convictions

I thought about writing this as an update to my previous post, but then I realized that it deserved its own space. Remember that I finished that piece mentioning strongly held convictions.

Well, I'm sitting in my father's apartment kitchen right now, reading Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's delightful Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, and I have just come across a particularly gratifying passage. In one of the many dialogues in the book, Plato chats with a Bill O'Reilly-like fellow called Roy McCoy. When Plato acknowledges that he has modified some of the thoughts expressed in his classic works after evaluating the evidence against them, McCoy snaps:

"You sure you're a philosopher? You seem to be a little too ready to change your mind. Or maybe you just don't have the courage of your convictions."

To which Plato replies:

"I would prefer the courage of my questions."

Enough said.