De baard maakt geen wijsgeer;

anders was er de bok goed aan.

La barbe ne fait pas le philosophe.

We place a lot of stock in appearances and repute; how much stock we invest depends upon our fondness and reliance upon these things. We might like groovy beards, gowns and hats, robes, or even a paragraph of post nominals. And what with all the hipsters around these days, who to trust?

We can be very hasty in forming our opinions and strangely we rely on the opinions and hearsay of others. This reliance can preclude us from finding out for ourselves and making up our own minds. If someone is clean shaven then it stands to reason they cannot be a philosopher. Or does it?

A couple of years back I looked into doing a Ph.D. in philosophy and philosophy of science to boot. In a number of cases my prior Ph.D. was an impediment and in others my lack of formal training as a philosopher was the deal breaker. I am not without some ability. There are a lot of these pre-conditions in the world today and if you don’t look the part, have loads of referees and the right kind of beard, that is the end of that.

We are prejudiced.

We might call this criteria for a vacancy, we may have an entire grid of these. If someone does not look the part, on paper, we never even get to check out his beard. We may even formally agree about our prejudices when drawing up a specification. And of course, people can be ageist and prejudiced against cancer as well.

We may lose out because of our prejudices.

Having cued this up:

Is it even possible that I have lost out on something because of my prejudices and pre-conditions?