28 November 2011

Favorite Quote, X

When I find myself next to a talkative stranger on a plane, I sometimes get asked what I do. If I say I'm a philosopher, the conversation often comes to a pretty grinding halt; when it doesn't, the next question is often: "So, what's your philosophy?" I usually take the easy way out. "My philosophy," I say, "is that everything is more complicated than you thought."

Many people have the opposite philosophy: they are devotees of parsimony, and strive always for theoretical minimalism, the elegant reduction. (These are people for whom the miracle is to turn wine into water.)

—Kwame Anthony Appiah, Experiments in Ethics, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008, pp. 198-199.

This is a sample, to show why I love reading Appiah. His texts are insightful and deep, but graced with humor and an engaging style of writing that makes him very accessible and enjoyable. Please indulge yourselves in his books. I especially recommend Cosmopolitanism.

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