The power of the question

There is a story about a philosophy class somewhere in Sweden. The teacher makes a test for his students, where he writes on the top of a paper, as the first question: Is this a question? The students become slightly chocked, finding this extremely difficult, not knowing how to think just to be able to write anything at all. Suddenly one of them comes up with a brilliant idea. He writes: Yes, if this is an answer.

My own way of thinking and existing can be summarized thus: It is more important to make the questions than to be able to answer them. A well-formulated question can have a terrible power, for even if you cannot give a straight answer, it opens a door to what you don't know (even if you may have believed that you knew it). Once a question is made you have to relate to it (or ignore it which is also a way of relating). For understandable reasons, dictators did never appreciate intellectuals.  

To me, the power of the question lies in its ability to reveal. It reveals something about the person who answers it, who doesn't quite answer it or who doesn't answer it.

But even more, it reveals something about the person making it. It reveals his or her level of interest in, knowledge and understanding of the subject in which the question was made. What we don't know can only make sense in terms of what we do know - may it just be that X is X. I'm therefore planning to make a test for my students, where their only task will be to formulate the questions.


Postat av: Dick

Am impressed about the profoundism of your thinking,Hans,and it inspires me to try to elevate my too often shallow musings.

2010-12-12 @ 15:02:06

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