The Virtues of Staying Quiet…

“Whereof one cannot speak,” wrote Wittgenstein in Tractatus, “Thereof must one be silent.” The immediacy and excitement of social media and online journalism have encouraged people to ignore this and hold forth on everything. Mouthing off with insufficient knowledge of one’s subject can entail devising and promoting arrant nonsense. What it also does, however, which is far less acknowledged, is make it more difficult to stop promoting nonsense as having publically endorsed a particular opinion one has made a personal investment in its success, integrating the idea into one’s identity and gambling one’s social status on it being impressive. A lot of young men and women who became old men and women should have thought of this and kept their darned mouths shut.

I may of course be hypocritical.

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This entry was posted in Rationalism, Rhetoric, Scepticism. Bookmark the permalink.

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