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We are all born philosophers

October 18, 2009

says my new friend, Andy Pessin, whose new books The God Question and The Sixty Second Philosopher have just been published. He came and spoke to my class at Endicott and cited his three year old as evidence of our innate curiosity: “If you say good morning to my three year old, he asks why.” I liked that someone who writes fluently about the history of philosophy and the nature of god can also reflect on the nature of small children. I wonder about this in myself. Where the curiosity goes. Why I feel it sometimes and why I don’t. I ask this in my creative writing classes all the time. Why aren’t we curious about anything anymore? Are we all too anxious to wonder about the wind (where it comes from), g-d (what is this word, anyways?), death (what happens to us) etc.? That’s where all great writing comes from, I think. There’s some poster of Einstein that says something like, “It’s not how smart you are. It’s how curious you are.” I am sure I have that wrong. But I like my version.

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