Friday, November 09, 2007

Man Without Qualities - a blog on neurophilosophy and social cognition by Leslie Marsh (Centre for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Sussex)

Food for thought

It is often asked why someone whose central interest is in cognitive science, writes on such diverse subject matter as ancient philosophy, philosophy of history, political philosophy, sociology and religion. The answer is simply that these are abiding interests (I have post-graduate degrees in these subjects) and that all these tributaries flow into the same river. The thought of one's research going into ever decreasing, derivative and infertile circles, depresses me. To paraphrase Hayek:

. . . exclusive concentration on a speciality has a peculiarly baneful effect: it will not merely prevent us from being attractive company or good citizens but may impair our competence in our proper field .  .  .

Or as Oakeshott put it:

Thinking . . . is not a professional matter; 

If it were it would be much less important than I take it to be.

No comments: