What Does Quoting Great Philosophers Imply?

[W]hen one says “Socrates said…” or some other philosopher, in defense of some position, the fact that these thinkers said one thing or another never increases the merit of the thought – that’s an appeal to authority. Instead, it tells us that this idea has been in the public discourse for many years. And that we are not novel in our thoughts, or particularly insightful in our times. Instead, that we might learn from great minds how they approached the problem and see if we can better them having many additional shoulders of giants to stand upon between long ago, and the present. On the other hand what we find in these ancient texts and in all histories of man, is that he remains constant over time. It is his geography, the number of his population, and his technology that changes. Not he.

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