Peter Winch on Wittgenstein on courage in philosophy

“You could attach prices to thoughts. Some cost a lot, some a little. And how does one pay for thoughts? The answer, I think, is: with courage.” [from Culture and Value, p. 52e]

[Winch’s commentary:] It is striking and important that he [Wittgenstein] uses an “ethical” concept courage here in discussing an apparently “logical” question. It takes courage to call in question familiar ways of thinking, to take seriously the idea that we are not compelled to think in accustomed ways, that there are other possibilities. It is not just that this is likely to be, as a purely internal matter, psychologically strenuous, though that is certainly not to be taken lightly, but that to strike out on new intellectual paths is also prone to bring us into conflict with other people, to expose us to the prospects of long, difficult argument, disruption of friendships and relations with collaborators, or worse.

from Peter Winch, Persuasion,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 17 (1992): 128-129.

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