Schools of Thought

…the binding of an idea to the static form of a philosophical school of thought is necessary — as necessary as a rallying banner on the battlefield — mobilizing, assembling and directing the chaotic torrent of men at war. The name transforms the formless cloud into a clear signpost, the shapeless sea of possibilities into a solid road to follow. As that adage goes: “strong opinions, weakly held” — the task of the intelligent mind is to be able to hold the banner without getting permanently attached to it, and to be willing to let go when it is time. The man of thought must be able to separate himself from his ideas, for the more attached you get, the more you use your ideas to defineyourself, the harder it becomes to change your mind. When an idea begins to define who you are, getting rid of it becomes as difficult as amputating a limb — or perhaps even a heart. What defines man is less the ideas themselves, but the direction of his will, for it is this will that gives rise to and uses the ideas for its purpose.


An edited version of a post by the same title on Dmitry Fadeyev's web site

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