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Posts Tagged ‘Morris Raphael Cohen’

morriscohen 

Jewish philosopher, lawyer and legal scholar, Morris Raphael Cohen, and his thoughts on:

Critical Thinking:

The method of exposition which philosophers have adopted leads many to suppose that they are simply inquiries, that they have no interest in the conclusions at which they arrive, and that their primary concern is to follow their premises to their logical conclusions.

Liberalism

Liberalism is an attitude rather than a set of dogmas – an attitude that insists upon questioning all plausible and self-evident propositions, seeking not to reject them but to find out what evidence there is to support them rather than their possible alternatives.

Conservatism clings to what has been established, fearing that, once we begin to question the beliefs that we have inherited, all the values of life will be destroyed.

Liberalism, on the other hand, regards life as an adventure in which we must take risks in new situations, in which there is no guarantee that the new will always be the good or the true, in which progress is a precarious achievement rather than inevitability.

Being Scientific

To be sure, the vast majority of people who are untrained can accept the results of science only on authority.

Religion

If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good.

Cruel persecutions and intolerance are not accidents, but grow out of the very essence of religion, namely, its absolute claims.

Philosophy, Literature and Science

Literature and philosophy both allow past idols to be resurrected with a frequency which would be truly distressing to a sober scientist.

In thus pointing out certain respects in which philosophy resembles literature more than science, I do not mean, of course, to imply that it would be well for philosophy if it ceased to aim at scientific rigor.

Again, both literature and philosophy work by appealing to certain reigning idols.

Let philosophy resolutely aim to be as scientific as possible, but let her not forget her strong kinship with literature.  

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