10 rules of philosophy to live by

Julian Baggini in The Guardian:

If we don’t know how to distinguish bad thinking from good, we can end up believing what we shouldn’t, and behaving in ways that are harmful to ourselves, to others, and to the planet.

Philosophers are, of course, the archetypal expert thinkers. Their discipline is often portrayed as a kind of formal method that lists fallacies to be avoided and distinguishes between deductive and inductive reasoning, invalid and sound arguments. These things have their place. But philosophy cannot be reduced to mere technique. Thinking well also requires adopting the right attitudes and being prepared to nurture effective habits. Without these “intellectual virtues” even the cleverest end up merely playing theoretical games.

Throughout history wise men and women have applied themselves to these problems in the service of their own development and that of humankind. Rather than start from scratch, why not draw on thousands of years of experience, and millions of hours of reflection and practice? Here is what some of the greatest philosophers in history can tell us about how to think – and live – well.

More here.