Tuesday, September 23, 2008

great question

I was asked recently whether the study of philosophy makes one more skeptical.

I didn't know how to answer for at least a couple of reasons.

First, I really don't know how to answer questions at that level of generality.

Second, I still haven't figured out what the study of philosophy has done to me.

Thoughts from those who've been made skeptical or otherwise by philosophy?


Andrew Bailey said...
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Robert said...

I think what many people mistake for skepticism (at least if they are speaking with a "philosopher")is just the ability to summon the opposing argument. During a conversation with someone who is particularly dogmatic, I might feel the need to do that, making them believe I'm some kind of wild skeptic.

Calvin said...

I do not think it is possible to say whether philosophy makes everyone skeptical, that is a universal that I'm not sure is applicable.

I agree with Robert, but would take it a step further and say that it not only gives people the ability to summon opposing arguments, but also to analyze the limits of what we can and cannot know within an argument.

I think philosophy does a great job of bringing assumptions out in the open and being somewhat critical of them. It may be being skeptical, but it is healthy skepticism (in my opinion, anyway).