a pregnant thought


conveyed to me by a long time friend, Bill Dalzell, in a phone conversation this morning

he was quoting a statement made by a philosophy professor in a college class he was enrolled in many years ago

the statement, as paraphrased by my friend: the question is not whether a philosophy or belief system is TRUE, it’s whether you like it nor not; does it appeal to you, say something to you? … the same thing applies to art [in the broad sense of the word]

my friend was wresting with religious doubts at the time; his professor’s statement was a consolation and revelation to him … what I would say, to the extent I understand, “translating” my friend’s inferences as best as I can, is that one can believe, engage with, bow to genius and inspiration (and, yes, truth!) without fear of being ridiculed for stupidity and credulity because something hasn’t been scientifically proved or some assertion or other has been disputed

a thought of my own: this statement has wide ranging implications … think of all the narrow minded, benighted people who want to find fault with art because they DISAGREE with something or other; to dissect, eviscerate it because they feel it is not CORRECT


— Roger W. Smith

   July 13, 2017

3 thoughts on “a pregnant thought

  1. Li Fontrodona

    I could not agree more with that statement. I would even say further: if a philosophy is liked; if it appeals to somebody; if it says something to somebody, then it is True — to them at least. This sounds, of course, very near to William James’ Pragmatism (which I have always liked and, thus, adhered to).

  2. Roger W. Smith

    a brilliant and insightful comment, Li … thank you … always appreciate your comments

    thanks a lot for mentioning William James … have not read “Pragmatism” … I am going to do so … thanks again

  3. Li Fontrodona

    Heartfelt thanks to you for you kind compliment, Roger

    Regarding this work by W. James, it’s just brilliant, like most books he wrote. He and his brother (and perhaps he more than Henry) were blessed with some frightening intelligence.

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