Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether. Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours form the press and the microphone of his own age.
C. S. Lewis, “Learning in War-Time,” in The Weight of Glory (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001), pp. 58-59.
On a side note, whilst looking for the publishing information in this book, I was reminded that “No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.” I assume that would cover blog posts. While I want to continue sharing great quotes on this vast series of tubes, I also want to abide by the law.