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The Traits of a Good Philosopher

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:

Here are a few useful traits for a competent philosopher, traits which any philosopher should consider developing in their personality, or at least in their mindset when they are dedicating time and effort to philosophizing:

  • Open-mindedness: A philosopher should be open to new ideas and perspectives, even if they conflict with their own. They should be willing to question their own beliefs and assumptions, and to consider the possibility that they are wrong.

  • Critical thinking: A philosopher should be able to think critically about the arguments and ideas that they encounter. They should be able to identify flaws in reasoning and to construct sound arguments of their own.

  • Intellectual honesty: A philosopher should be honest with themselves and others about their beliefs and reasoning. They should be willing to admit when they are wrong, and to change their views in light of new evidence.

  • Creativity: A philosopher should be creative in their thinking. They should be able to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems.

  • Humility: A philosopher should be humble about their own knowledge and abilities. They should be aware of the limits of their understanding, and should be willing to learn from others.

They are also:


A good philosopher regularly practices the art of doubt. By doubting, they can shake the stability of an argument and use it to further promote their own arguments. I use this art to form new opinions, based on the information I possess, whether by logic or by experience.


How can a good philosopher be good if they are merely followers who do not innovate on their own? A philosopher, so to speak, has their own face. They are not afraid to go against the flow instead of simply agreeing with 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 I can rely on someone who relies completely on their emotions rather than their logical skills. Emotions are not only subjective, but they can also be difficult to rely on if you are a person who mostly relies on logic.

Emotions can be contradictory and therefore inconsistent. A good philosopher, on the other hand, forms their arguments over consistent claims, like a flowing river. If the direction of the water were to go in any direction, there would be no river, and thus, no flowing consistency, but a mess of water that could easily be dried up.


Philosophy is not only about rebelling, but also about the evolution of knowledge into more knowledge. The more knowledge you have, the more wisdom you can extract from it. A good philosopher, in my opinion, would have a thirst for knowledge. This thirst can serve them well when they are to form opinions based on logic or evidence. In the case of philosophy, like science, the thirst for knowledge is based upon not only the big and essential questions, but also the mechanism of the studied field and the agents which participate in it (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 they seek. After all, a philosopher is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom. The more determined they are to discover the answers to their questions, the more productive they can be in philosophizing. As I said, philosophy is about evolving.


A good philosopher does not fall under the trap of zealotry. They do not close themselves off completely to prevent themselves from being exposed to new opinions. They are not afraid to admit the fallacy of their logic and seek more wisdom, which can also be based on their knowledge. They do not wrestle with other people just because they may hold different, if not contradictory, opinions to theirs. They 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 go 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 a state of philosopher-hood, but at least we can tell ourselves that we at least tried and even researched it.

Regardless, the more you 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.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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