What is Philosophy?

The Department at Victoria University at Wellington has compiled an interesting set of reflections by contemporary and 20th-century figures in answer to the Question: What is Philosophy?

My favorite:

Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect. [Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy]

To Love is to be Vulnerable

“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C. S. Lewis

What’s your organization’s core competence

A core competence is a proficiently preformed internal activity that is central to a company’s strategy and competitiveness. It can relate to any of several aspects of a company’s business, for example: Expertise in integrating multiple technologies to create families of new products; know how in creating and operating systems for cost efficient supply chain management; the capability to speed new or next-generation products to market; skills in manufacturing a high-quality product at a low cost and the list goes on.

Most often, a core competence is knowledge based, residing in people and in a company’s intellectual capital but not in its assets on the balance sheet.