Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Can an Independent Thinker Come to Conclusions?

It might be thought that my motto above, "Study everything, join nothing," and my being a self-proclaimed man of the Right stand in a certain tension one to the other, a tension that might even get the length of a contradiction. This raises the question: Must an independent thinker avoid all conclusions? No, he must avoid conclusions that are not arrived at independently. An independent thinker is one who thinks independently -- or at least does his level best to think independently -- not one who is independent of all conclusions.

It is also clear that one who arrives at, and (tentatively) embraces, a set of conclusions cannot legitimately be said to have joined anything. What one joins are things like churches and political parties; one cannot join a set of propositions.