Finding bad reasons for what
on instinct we choose to believe,
philosophy rescues from rot
the thoughts we’d do better to leave
behind us, not searching for reasons
why some things seem true, and some don’t;
philosophy changes like seasons,
and we quite instinctively don’t.
Inspired by an article by Rabbi David Wolpe in the Septemeber issue of Commentary, where joins Jonathan D. Sarna, Michael MedvedWilliam Kristol, Jeff Jacoby and David Gelernter in a discussion, “Why Are Jews Liberals?” Wolpe suggests that the answer is because Jews vote their self-conception, identifying themselves with those on the margins and seeing themselves as arrivistes.” He writes:Politics is full of arguments, yet how many arrive at their politics through argument? While it may not quite British idealist F.H. Bradley’s definition of philosophy as the “finding of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct,” there remains a large reside of instinct in political alignments.
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 8/24/09