Re: "Ideas have a life of their own" (Origin of Quote?)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 03 Mar 2004 - 05:01:41 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: "Ideas have a life of their own""

    More interesting stuff from trawling. This is recent enough to have been influenced by Dawkins, but there are no occurrences of meme, memes or memetics in the book.

          "On the one hand, this tradition is woven around charismatic personalities, brilliant eccentrics. On the other hand, it is in the nature of Western philosophy that ideas have a life of their own, even if they also betray some deep concern of the philosopher. By contrast, the stories told about Confucius and the Buddha are hardly separable from their philosophy. Confucianism and Buddhism are about Confucius and Buddha in a way that Greek philosophy is not about Thales and his followers, or even Socrates, the most exemplary of them all. Philosophy was, from the first, about the ideas, and so it should be no surprise, in the centuries to follow, that the ideas should take on a life of their own and become the center of focus. Biographies of the philosophers, accordingly, are considered just so much gossip."

    Page 31

    _A Short History of Philosophy_ by Kathleen M. Higgins, Robert C. Solomon; Oxford University Press, 1996

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