"Philosophy means the complete liberty of the mind,
and therefore independence of all
social, political or religious prejudice...
It loves one thing only... truth."
Henri Frederic Amiel
(1821-1881) Swiss philosopher, poet
Journal, 1873-84
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Reader comments about this quote:
"Philosophy." If we notice the roots of this word, it comes to this: "philos" in Greek is not "love," as we have been taught; but "an affinity for" is its true meaning. Then, "sophia." We are told it means "wisdom," alas. Its true meaning is "judging rightly." Thus, we have an operational definition for philosophy: "An affinity for judging rightly."
 -- daigu, milpitas, ca.     
  • 3
    If philosophy were in fact as daigu describes above, I would have given it 5 stars. I believe that most philosophy today is nothing more than substantivless mental masturbation, a sophistry of political and religious prejudice with no affinity for truth or judging rightly. That being said, I also believe that philosophy, with its rudiments, should be a mandatory class in highschool and college to try and help make our kids think (to little of that going on today); and then maybe they would pay attention to what is going on politically and religiously. Mere philosophy has never come close to meaning the complete liberty of the mind.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Agreed with Mike. Current philosophy never actually arrives at "truth", but continually seeks to ask “why?” In philosophy, truth changes daily-- depending on what argument was presented more clearly one day than the next. There is no absolute resolve to philosophy, only the search—or, as coming from a religious stand—“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2nd Timothy 3:7). That being said-- I love philosophy, and I wish it were taught in all levels of education.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  • 4
    I couldn't disagree more, philosophy is the heart of any great society -- simply it means a love of knowledge/wisdom, or as Daigu as stated "an affinity for judging rightly" Human's twist and squirm the meaning into their own agenda - let it be for what Is. Through philosophy western civilization was born, from Aquinas to Wittgenstein the need to question and debate was and still is the foundation of all great thinkers. It tries to discover truth and the value of things -- it is without doubt the instrument for freedom. As Russell said "Some people would rather die than think." There are many schools of philosophy of which many have different views of life and the nature of things. Some of the greatest philosophers never wrote a word. Thinking and arguing the nature of things is such a privilege and to be able to debate in an open forum without personal remarks is a joy. Philosophy is part of our daily life, it affects all we do; and to be tolerant of each others opinion and debate freely is what makes us move forward.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
  • 4
    Philosophy is a luxury of civilization and law. Someone does not have much inclination to gaze at his navel when someone is trying to stick a sword in it.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 5
    Ah, the Truth... the most elusive thing in the universe yet ever present. I can't imagine life without philosophy -- nor freedom without free thought and reason.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
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