Helen Taylor, in her introduction to John Stuart Mill's Three Essays on Religion, describes an important aspect of Mill's character:

For at the same time that he was peculiarly deliberate and slow in forming opinions, he had a special dislike to the utterance of half-formed opinions. He declined altogether to be hurried into premature decision on any point to which he did not think he had given sufficient time and labour to have exhausted it to the utmost limit of his own thinking powers.

A wise caution ... and one that parallels a comment in The Examined Life, where Robert Nozick chides himself for having been too "opinion-full" in his youth, too driven to pass judgment on any issue. It's ok, as Nozick says, to have no opinion on a wealth of topics, even important topics.

Pause ... breathe ... think ... and be happy to float, suspended in mid-ocean for a moment (or an eon) between the shores of yes and no ... in a place where reason has a chance to whisper and be heard.

TopicPhilosophy - 2001-10-14

(correlates: MoreMetaforestry, AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs, HowGreatThouArt, ...)