Thinking Thoughts

People who can’t think do not think they can’t think and won’t recognize thinking when it presents itself. Thinkers who can think can recognize non-thinking when they see it because non-thinkers think things that thinkers never would. Non-thinkers non-think things that bring them satisfaction or make them feel noble or thoughtful. This is the folly of Trump, who is a non-thinker. Thinkers frequently think things that leave them unsatisfied; make them feel unworthy or unthoughtful. This is the wisdom of Socrates, who was a thinker.

Non-thinkers typically think they should trust things about which they should be skeptical and think they should be skeptical about the things they should trust. Thinkers are not so confused. Thinkers can’t tell non-thinkers how to think because thinking is something one has to do for oneself. Non-thinkers think they are thinking for themselves but fail to realize that whether one is thinking for oneself or not is something that can only be determined by other thinkers and other thinkers are people non-thinkers do not trust. The satisfaction non-thinkers get from the thoughts they think they are thinking is a sign that they are not thinking because thinking is never satisfied. Thinking proceeds by trial and error. Non-thinking proceeds by obedience to a non-thought that non-thinkers think must be true.

I have said before that under-thinkers think thinking is overthinking. It is not true however that over-thinkers think thinking is underthinking because overthinkers are actually under-thinkers who don’t know it. Non-thinkers will respond to this (probably in the comments) by saying, “I don’t think so!” or “I think not!” or even “I think you are full of it.” Thinkers on the other hand will respond by saying, “I think I think this but I will need to think about it.”

The fact that thinkers cannot tell non-thinkers how to think relates to Socrates’ discussion with Meno on whether or not virtue can be taught, which is the same as asking if virtue can be thought. And the answer to that is that virtue can be taught except when it can’t and can’t be taught except when it can. Sometimes, thinking seems necessary but not sufficient for virtue(thinking comes first). Other times, it seems unnecessary but sufficient(loving comes first). Whatever the case, as important as thinking is, love is more important and so my next post will be more important than this post.

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