Friday, 5 March 2010

Overcoming relativism: moving from doubt to self-reliance (Part 3 of 4)


Carneades' philosophy produces catastrophic outcomes in every area. Scepticism places nonsense on equal footing with truth, depriving virtue of meaning and incentive. Incessant doubts undermine certainty, invalidate knowledge, and destroy self-reliance. Scepticism and relativism are dead-end projects to which you should say no and firmly stand your ground.

In our days, the philosophy of eternal doubt has adopted the disguise of sophistication. Instead of attacking science, modern sceptics come up with contradictory measurements and point out that no conclusion can be drawn. Instead of denying facts, data is grouped in arbitrary categories that render logical discourse impossible.

A man becomes self-reliant when he leaves fundamental doubts behind. Learning to think independently requires ignoring noise, not making more of it. The key to overcoming scepticism is realism, not pointless debates. Moving from hesitation to self-confidence involves growing indifferent to nonsense.

Three centuries after Carneades' death, the Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus (160-210 AD) wrote extensively about scepticism, which he mainly presented as subjectivism. This variant of thought denies objective conclusions and replaces them by individual truths, as many as persons are involved in a discussion.

To be continued in Part 4

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by duff_sf under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Overcoming relativism: moving from doubt to self-reliance (Part 3 of 4)


Carneades' philosophy produces catastrophic outcomes in every area. Scepticism places nonsense on equal footing with truth, depriving virtue of meaning and incentive. Incessant doubts undermine certainty, invalidate knowledge, and destroy self-reliance. Scepticism and relativism are dead-end projects to which you should say no and firmly stand your ground.

In our days, the philosophy of eternal doubt has adopted the disguise of sophistication. Instead of attacking science, modern sceptics come up with contradictory measurements and point out that no conclusion can be drawn. Instead of denying facts, data is grouped in arbitrary categories that render logical discourse impossible.

A man becomes self-reliant when he leaves fundamental doubts behind. Learning to think independently requires ignoring noise, not making more of it. The key to overcoming scepticism is realism, not pointless debates. Moving from hesitation to self-confidence involves growing indifferent to nonsense.

Three centuries after Carneades' death, the Roman philosopher Sextus Empiricus (160-210 AD) wrote extensively about scepticism, which he mainly presented as subjectivism. This variant of thought denies objective conclusions and replaces them by individual truths, as many as persons are involved in a discussion.

To be continued in Part 4

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by duff_sf under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]