n African Security Review - ...? : commentary

Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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In academic circles no less than in everyday life there exists a natural tendency to value the new and fashionable, often for no better reason than that it is new and fashionable. This is only a tendency, of course; classic design and established authority also retain an appeal, though sometimes on dubious grounds. But what passes for novelty and new thinking is often little more than a reworking or repackaging of what has gone before. This is almost inevitable, especially if we take the trouble to read what our predecessors have had to say on our chosen subject. As Alfred North Whitehead, the philosopher and mathematician, wrote in his masterful : 'The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.'

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