Thursday, June 29, 2017

On duty...................................

Some philosophers - not necessarily the ablest - are impressive through their quality of intellectual honesty.  Of these a very good example was Henry Sidgwick, who was my teacher in ethics.  In his youth fellowships at Cambridge were only open to those who would sign the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.  Years after he had signed them, he developed doubts, and, though not expected to affirm that his beliefs remained unchanged, decided that it was his duty to resign.  This action hastened the change in the law which put an end to the old theological restrictions.  As a teacher, he showed the same honesty, and considered objections by pupils as courteously and carefully as if they had been made by colleagues.  This made his teaching more fruitful than that of many abler men.

-Bertrand Russell, from his essay, Eminent Men I Have Know, as found here

No comments:

Post a Comment