Showing posts from January, 2012


Having read through a number of Descartes works, I am struck by what seems to be a difficulty in his reasoning process. Roughly put his reasoning goes something as follows (please note this is in summary form):
1.Knowledge (science or Truth) is that which is indubitable, being clearly and distinctly perceived.
2.If knowledge is defined as in premise one, then in order to discover truth one simply doubt all that is not indubitable, which is not clearly and distinctly perceived.
3.We can doubt all that we thought we knew, except for one thing, that we are doubting.
4.I doubt, and therefore I exist. (Or in his more famous phrase, I think, therefore I am – Cogito ergo sum)
5.That “I think” is the clearest and most distinct truth I can know.
6.I am aware of imperfections.
7.The fact that I am aware of imperfections seems to necessitate that I have an idea of perfection.
8.This idea of perfection can only come from (a) my own mind, (b) the world that my senses appear to perceive, or (c) from a…

Starting Places - Philosophical Principles

In his short treatise On Being and Essence, Thomas Aquinas says “A slight error eventually grows to vast proportions, according to the Philosopher.”[1] The philosopher referred to is Aristotle, and the quote referred to is found in De Caelo, book I, “So it has been and so it must be; since the least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold...The reason is that a principle is great rather in power than in extent.”[2] This would seem to be true regardless of the branch of studies. If we make an error in the principles of our philosophy, then, though we may stumble upon some truths, our system, as a whole, will be unstable and erroneous.
How then do we make sure that we are starting from the right principles? Socrates, in the Phaedo, offered his method of finding truth, “However, I started in this manner: taking as my hypothesis in each case the theory that seemed to me the most compelling, I would consider as true, about cause and everything else, whatever agr…

La Foi et La Raison: C'est Quoi la Rapport?

La relation entre lafoi et la raison est, dans nos temps modernes, sujet de beaucoup de mauvaises interprétations. Beaucoup de gens, ayant un penchant religieux, qu'ils soient chrétiens ou non, semblent penser que la foi et la raison sont deux ennemis jurés, et que finalementla foi est le vainqueur. D'autre part, beaucoup de gens qui méprisent la religion, tenant à la même vue d'une guerre entre la foi et la raison, pensent que la raison finira par régner. La croyance, un synonyme de la foi, est traitée avec mépris par des auteurs tels que Valérie Tarico, qui, dans un article récemment publié, traite la croyance comme une action antirationnel qui est applaudi, surtout, par des gens religieux.[1]
Daniel Dennett, par exemple, dans son livre Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, parle beaucoup de la croyance sans jamais donner une définition précise de celui-ci. En lisant le livre nous pouvons glaner quelques idées de ce qu'il pourrait, peut-être…