Feb 27, 2009

The enabling virtue

"How do you examine yourself? What happens when you interrogate yourself? What happens when you begin to call into question your tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions and begin, then, to become a different kind of person? The Socratic imperative of examining yourself requires courage in a way William Butler Yeats used to say it takes more courage to examine the dark corners or your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on the battlefield. Courage to think critically. Courage is the enabling virtue for any philosopher, for any human being, I think, in the end: Courage to think, courage to love, courage to hope."

-- Cornel West, The Examined Life