Pro or Con?

This is a quote from a book called "The Story of Philosophy" written by Bryan Magee. He is responding to some people's claims that Heidegger's being an Anti-Semitic Nazi must bear some influence on the content of his thinking. Magee responds, "The idea that a great thinker must be a morally admirable human being is romantic, indeed childish, and is in any case contradicted by too many examples in the history of philosophy for us to take it seriously." Now, I understand the idea of validity to be important. I take it mean the analysis of a person's thinking - whether true or not - as either credible to some practice or not, but Magee seems to go beyond simple validity to almost saying that it doesn't matter. And it is so blatantly and universally presented as an acceptable norm that it shocks me! He seems to be putting out the concept of thinking as disconnected in value from life practice, something that Wittgenstein and Popper would have had a field day over. "Think for the sake of thinking. No, solve problems!" Perhaps he wouldn't have meant for me to read it as I am, but I don't think his statement is uncommon of a value-less society. My philosophy teacher in college said the same thing on numerous occasions, though with a much more querky presentation, being as he was querky himself. Anyway, I read that and thought, "Is that an argument for or against the value of philosophy?" And as such, threw me back toward the thinking of "Wittgenstein's Poker". What is the point of philosophy? Does this attitude expressed in words by Magee create a picture of where we approach it? I can hear Francis Schaeffer in one of his tapes right now going to town on a statement like that. Man, would that be exciting to listen to...


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