Posted by Sophie | Posted in 'Philosophy', Arts | Posted on 03-02-2010
Tags: coffee, history, ignorance, jostein gaarder, psychology, recording, sociology
I often think that if I had better knowledge of psychology, sociology, history etc. I’d have been better qualified to address the issues I’ve raised in the Rabbit so far. But yesterday, after writing my post, I reassured myself with the following thought which, even if untrue, makes me feel justified in continuing my blogging activities…
The word ‘ignorance’ has such negative connotations, but remaining ignorant to existing literature, theories, experiments etc. can, in one sense, give us the edge over those ‘in the know’. Absorbing someone else’s theory can, for example, build a brick wall around our own thought capacity as the theory infiltrates our own ideas (whether we like it or not), just like listening to recordings can subconsciously influence the way in which a performer shapes a musical phrase and place limits on the development of their individual interpretation. By avoiding the brainwashing of others and the belief that we’ve arrived at answers, we can also retain that healthy sense of awe that Jostein Gaarder holds up as the key to being a good philosopher. It’s no wonder that children are so creative. [I also realise that educating ourselves can also provide us with tools needed for further independent enquiry, but that goes against today's point...]
What I’m trying to say is this… Another person’s thought could very well act as as a useful foothold (it is, after all, someone else’s book which sparked the idea for this blog), but it could just as easily stand as an obstacle on your own personal rabbity journey. Behind every big personal library there isn’t necessarily a genius/someone you’d take out for coffee.
This just popped up on twitter from Plato via philoquotes: “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil”. I’ll hazard a guess and say he probably wouldn’t agree with this post then.