Monday, 14 March 2011

Hypothetical Sympathy

In studying a philosopher, the right attitude is neither reverence nor contempt, but first a kind of hypothetical sympathy, until it is possible to know what it feels like to believe in his theories, and only then a revival of the critical attitude, which should resemble, as far as possible, the state of mind of a person abandoning opinions which he has hitherto held.
 — Bertrand Russell 'The History Of Western Philosophy' (p58)