Updated: Jan 14
Hereby a few useable traits for a competent philosopher, traits which any philosopher should consider to develop in his or her personality, or at least in their mindset when they are to dedicate time and effort to philosophize:
A good philosopher regularly practices the art of doubt. With doubt they can shake the stability of an argument and devolve it to further promote their own arguments. I use this art to form new opinions and, with the information I possess, whether by logic or by experience.
Independent: How can a good philosopher can be indeed good if they are but mere followers who do not innovate on their own? A philosopher, so to say, has a face of their own. They are not afraid to go against the flow instead of simply agreeing to every opinion they encounter. They use their independence to rebel, at least intellectually, against the barriers of common opinion and norms, even if the price is to be left alone.
To be honest I don’t see how can I rely on someone that depends completely on their emotions rather than their logical skills. Emotions are not only subjective but are hard to rely upon if you are a person that mostly relies on logic. Emotions can be contradictive and therefore inconsistent, while a good philosopher forms his argument over consistent claims, like a flowing river. If the directions of the water would go at whatever direction, there would be no river, and thus, no flowing consistency, but a mess of water, that can be easily dried up.
Philosophy is not only about rebelling, but also about the evolution of knowledge into more knowledge, and the more knowledge you have, the more wisdom you can extract from it. A good philosopher, in my opinion, would have the thirst for knowledge, and this thirst can serve them well when they are to form opinions based whether on logic or evidence. In the case of philosophy, like science, the thirst of knowledge is based upon not only the questions which seem as big and essential, but also to the mechanism of the studied field and the agents which participate in (in philosophy, it’s usually the meaning of key terms in a certain field, based on their usage and functionality).
A really good philosopher would want to persist in their efforts to find the answers their seek, for the philosopher is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom, and the more they may be determined to discover the answers for their questions, the more productive they can be in philosophizing, because, as I said, philosophy is about evolving.
A good philosopher does not fall under the trap of zealotry; they shall not close themselves completely to prevent themselves from exposing to new opinions. They shall not be afraid to admit the fallacy of their logic and seek more wisdom, that can be also based on their knowledge. They shall not wrestle with other people just because they may hold different, if not contradictive, opinions to theirs. They shall listen to the voice of their “opponents” and even use their disagreement as a method to better evolve their own opinions, and thus enforcing them by listening to criticism.
I hope you have learned from this article and helped yourselves going at least one step further into becoming, perhaps, the potentially-other great philosophers of this century. Not everyone will have the appropriate recognition to reach such state of philosopher-hood, but at least we can tell ourselves that we at least tried and even researched it. Regardless, the more you'll train yourself to develop these traits within you, the more likely you'll be added, even after your death, in the long-lived pantheon of philosophers, a pantheon older than some ancient religions.