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Single Idea 21587

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems]

Full Idea

The desire for unadulterated truth is often obscured, in professional philosophers, by love of system: the one little fact which will not come inside the philosophical edifice has to be pushed and tortured until it seems to consent.

Gist of Idea

Philosophers sometimes neglect truth and distort facts to attain a nice system


Bertrand Russell (Our Knowledge of the External World [1914], 8)

A Reaction

Bit of hypocrisy here. Russell was continually trying to find a system, grounded in physics and logic. Presumably his shifting views are indications of integrity, because he changes the system rather than the facts.

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Our Knowledge of the External World' [Routledge 1993], p.241