Quote: Bertrand Russell

“Philosophy, throughout its history, has consisted of two parts inharmoniously
blended; on the one hand a theory as to the nature of the world, on the other an
ethical or political doctrine as to the best way of living. The failure to separate
these two with sufficient clarity has been a source of much confused thinking.
Philosophers, from Pla to to William James, have allowed their opinions as to the
constitution of the universe to be influenced by the desire for edification: knowing,
as they supposed, what beliefs would make men virtuous, they have invented
arguments, often very sophistical, to prove that these beliefs are true. For my part I
reprobate this kind of bias, both on moral and on intellectual grounds. Morally, a
philosopher who uses his professional competency for anything except a
disinterested search for truth is guilty of a kind of treachery. And when he assumes,
in advance of inquiry, that certain beliefs, whether true or false, are such as to
promote good behavior, he is so limiting the scope of philosophical speculation as
to make philosophy trivial; the true philosopher is prepared to examine  all
When any limits are placed, consciously or unconsciously, upon
the pursuit of truth, philosophy becomes paralyzed by fear, and the ground is
prepared for a government censorship punishing those who utter “dangerous
thoughts”  – in fact, the philosopher has already places such a censorship over his
own investigations.”

My emphasis. From The Philosophy of Logical Analysis
(Chapter XXXI of “A History of Western Philosophy”)

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