Too often people are concerned with their reputation at the expense of intrinsic good--virtue. Virtue and its relation to happiness should be recognized first, even if it means damage to one's reputation. Aristotle and Aquinas confirm, "Happiness is man's true good." But, is a good reputation (admiration by others) the way to true happiness? Conscience is ordinal. And, from where does conscience, consciousness derive? No philosopher or scientist, including the neuro-philosophers have come to anything definitive. The person, truly wise, is not always that person singularly capable of most clearly and quickly grasping the truth of fundamental or experimental reason or logic; but, it is more prudent to be intuitively correct; and--most of all--better to know, indeed, there is a correct solution. Consider, 'A' is not non-'A'. There is truth. And, truth in either philosophy or science is not a matter of synthetic notion but of recognition.

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    Do you expect a different answer for philosophers as opposed to any other moderately academic profession? Do you expect the answer to be about the ideal, or a pragmatic one given the limitations and challenges of our current reality?
    – Rex Kerr
    Feb 2, 2015 at 18:19
  • Depends on whether they have tenure or not. Publish or perish, you know.
    – user4894
    Feb 3, 2015 at 20:37
  • For what it's worth a recognitional modelling of truth is at the very least controversial; and to my mind acutely reactionary
    – Joseph Weissman
    Feb 4, 2015 at 0:19
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    @Joe: Substitute "revelation" for "recognition." Category I questions live on despite the post-modern attempt to expunge the historic record. Wittgenstein suffered no "god talk"; but, at the end of his life he asked for Last Rites and a Catholic burial. Metaphysics yet endures. The natural cognition tricotomy of description/explanation/experiment (reasoning from an upper story to the lower, most rational) makes more sense if "revelation" is yet placed in the fourth (highest) story: revelation//description/explanation/experiment. The higher 'story' is the consideration of the Creator. Feb 4, 2015 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


Your question is miss-specified. You simply played with words, good and virtuous are synonyms, and you haven't specified the difference or the actor and actions clearly.

Do you mean: "Should someone who philosophizes (loves wisdom) be concerned with having a good reputation or with being correct?"

And not what you wrote: "Should the successful philosopher (one who 'does' philosophy) be concerned with having a good reputation, not with being virtuous (correct)?."

If so, the answer is self-evident as it is contained within the definition.

If your concern is with success, - Should one who successfully loves wisdom be concerned with being correct or having a good reputation? - The answer remains clear by definition.

If you have a different definition of success you must specify.

  • "Your question is miss-specified." Isn't this like saying, "You are miss-interested"? Exactly, the answer remains clear by definition... Bro-ther! Sep 18, 2016 at 17:30

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