Gnomes are not superstitious. In a world with arcane magic, divine power, and interdimensional beings, these things are as natural as gravity, magnets, and electricity. Gnomeregan lacks the mythological origin stories that other cultures use to inform themselves who they are. For gnomes <unknown> is a valid answer until some mechanism that explains a phenomenon is demonstrated.
Gnome Philosophy struggles with different questions than other cultures. This is primarily due to the fact gnomes want to understand how things work so that those properties can be harnessed to some effect. Do origins matter? Dwarves are very concerned with their origins, but gnomes are not, because that information does not provide much insight about how things currently function. This peels back a layer and lets us see deeper into gnome philosophy. “How” is a much more important question to gnomes than “Why” is.
Physics, medicine, and chemistry and the very common and well developed schools of thought in Gnomeregan. They are things things that can be measured and applied in the physical world. The tricky things that gnomes grapple with are morality, aesthetics, and the nature of existence. Things that are innately abstract and don’t have obvious immediate application languish on the margins of gnomish disciplines. Their philosophy is less about acquiring wisdom for understanding and more about attaining knowledge to achieve goals.
There is a Micro and Macro aspect to gnome individualism. On the micro level is an individual gnome, made of of all of his or her physical parts, education, experiences, and expertise. All these parts come together to form a complex being that can accomplish amazing feats. Alone a gnome can create amazing things. These creations are then seen as an extension of the self though intellect and craftsmanship.
Every individual gnome is expected to bring their best to any situation. Any job that is necessary is important. This leads into their macro views. Just like each gnome is made of smaller parts themselves, on the macro scale, each gnome is a small piece of a larger community. This is one of the reasons gnomes don’t make many demands of the Alliance. In their expandable views of the self, any success of the Alliance is a success for gnomes as a part of the Alliance.
Gnomish thought-leaders come in all types. Gnomes that take on the roles of priest are not leading fields outside their role, however, they are important sounding boards for all gnomes no matter what the disciple. If a gnome gets too involved in their own personal goals, it’s the job of a gnome philosopher to remind them that they have responsibilities and that their actions have impacts beyond themselves. On the same note, they also guide gnomes that have lost focus and overextend themselves.
When soliciting feedback on ideas it’s also important to get multiple perspectives. There are gnomes that specialize in positive encouragement. Acting as a confidants, these optimists believe that there is a good idea at the core of any concept, and that it must be nurtured to realize it’s maximum potential. Other gnomes are skeptical, asking many questions about how the idea is going to be brought to fruition. It’s not that they are trying to discourage new ideas. Instead they want to make sure that the idea has been considered in depth before resources are spent trying to make it happen. Finally there are nay-saying cynics. Gnomes that offer this kind of feedback tend to focus more on the applications of ideas and the motivations for implementing them more than the feasibility of the idea itself.
Gnomeregan credits a lot of it’s strength to the fact that all citizens have a door that is always open, a gnome to talk to about any idea and work through and explore the merits and drawbacks of all potential ideas.