The One Statement To Best Restart Philosophy

The One Statement To Best Restart Philosophy

If all existing philosophical work—and all records and knowledge of it—were to be destroyed in some disaster, and only one sentence could be passed on to future intelligent beings (roughly like us we’ll assume) for them to restart the philosophical enterprise, what should that statement be?

The question is based on a similar one about science, which Richard Feynman originally asked and answered, and which Tom Chivers recently asked a dozen scientists (via Kottke). Feynman said: “I believe it is the atomic hypothesis that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.”

The aim of the question is not to solicit your favorite philosophical nugget, but the one you think would be the most useful philosophical head start or orientation at the rebirth of philosophy.

(image: detail of “Maelstrom” by Simona Prives)

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