The most dangerous sort of person. By means of intuition, thought, symbols, and words, a philosopher may build or destroy civilizations, all behind the scenes, unknown by those who end up using her ideas as everyday beliefs. The power of the philosopher, for good or ill, often lasts well beyond the grave, over centuries and millennia.
Philosophers aim at discovering truth. As truth is perspectival and has an historical aspect, no philosopher or philosophy captures all truth absolutely in all its possible nuances and applications. Many thinkers misunderstand this fact of reality and human finitude, while other schools have grasped it.
Those that don't understand the limited nature of human beings believe their philosophy is a complete system that explains reality absolutely, usually with disastrous consequences historically; those that do understand this create philosophies that are open-ended and admit that progress in understanding is possible over time, each generation adding and amending errors as needed.
"Hegel, an absolutist 19th c. philosopher who believed he had explained all of reality, influenced Karl Marx, who, in turn, believed his philosophy explained all of reality. In turn, Ayn Rand took Marx's philosophy and turned it upside-down and, just as absolutely, believed she had completely explained all of reality. All three philosophers have had a certain detrimental effect on history - Hegel influencing Nazism, Marx Communism, and Rand an authoritarian resurrection of Laissez-Faire Capitalism and worship of selfishness."
Prices shown in USD.
Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!
Emails are sent from email@example.com. We'll never spam you.