Friday, September 28, 2007

Truth hurts

I am a philosopher--at least I teach philosophy for a living, and I take pretty seriously the importance of living an examined life, thinking rationally, preferring truth to pleasant belief, the power of dialectic and argument to get us a better picture of the world. And I tell my students, when they are paying more attention to me than they are to their cell phones or iPods, that they should really take seriously the role of TRUTH in their lives, that they should strive for the truth, that they should be skeptical and question.

Yet, when a student acts as I would want him to, challenges authority, questions, asks for reasons, is slow to accept what he is told, it still raises my hackles, at least when I am the authority in question. That's a sad statement about my own intellectual virtue.