Freeing oneself from one’s prejudices is a task which the vast majority of modern philosophy sets as a condition for proper rational enquiry and for communication between men on an equal footing and without bias.1 It is not easy, however, to recognise one’s prejudices. In fact, it is very often he who feels immune that is most subject to its influence.2 This is true of the thinkers considered here, ever ready to accuse others of prejudice, whilst being convinced of the irreproachability of their own point of view. The danger lies in forgetting that even our own point of view is both relative and conditioned. Within a tradition that transmits not only behavioural patterns, but also more or less explicit ready-made judgements, the question is whether to subject these judgements to rational observation and, through comparing and contrasting them, arrive at an argued and personally satisfying opinion, or close oneself within those acquired certainties, refusing “to submit oneself to the law of the best argument”.3 In this case, the force of prejudice is shown in its most negative sense. Challenging of person, who claims to be free of bias, is a necessary precondition for dialogue, but it is not the only one.4 Should this person refuse the search for truth implied also in the questioning of his convictions, then the dialogue loses its significance and fails even to be a pleasant conversation with others.5


Jewish Community Jewish Question Universal History Ritual Murder Progressive Framework 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Tomasoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Facoltà di Lettere e FilosofiaUniversità Del Piemonte OrientaleVercelliItaly

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