27 May 2009

On being a slow thinker

Over on Taking Note, Manfred Kuehn quotes R. G. Collingwood as follows:
I know that I have always been a slow and painful thinker, in whom thought in its formative stages will not be hurried by effort, nor clarified by argument, that most dangerous enemy to immature thoughts, but grows obscurely through a long and oppressive period of gestation, and only after birth can be licked by its parent into presentable shape.

I can certainly identify with his description of the struggle to formulate one’s thoughts. And gestation is a good metaphor for a process that can take months or even years. (Actually I have come across that metaphor somewhere else – in something Buber wrote, I think.)

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