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Ponder on this extract from a brilliant monograph Listening by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy:

‘Is listening something of which philosophy is capable? Or ... at the risk of exaggerating the point—hasn’t philosophy superimposed upon listening ... or else substituted for listening, something else that might be more on the order of understanding?

Isn’t the philosopher someone who always hears, but cannot listen, or who, more precisely, neutralizes listening within himself, so that he can philosophize? Not, however, without finding himself immediately given over to the slight, keen indecision that grates, rings out or shouts between ‘listening’ and ‘understanding’: between two kinds of hearing, between two paces of the same, between a tension and a balance, or else, if you prefer, between a sense (that one listens to) and a truth (that one understands), although the one cannot, in the long run, do without the other.’

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