A Conversation for h2g2 Philosopher's Guild Members Page

Metaphysics and Epistemology

Post 1

Nick_Em (not_him)

Seeing that talk about metaphysics is turning up on the main philosophy forum, I thought it might be prudent to set up a forum on Metaphysics and Epistemology, two essential branches of philosophy inextricably linked.

So, should we start with Descartes' problem at the end of his First Meditation;

- Everything can be doubted

So, is there anything we can be sure of?

Metaphysics and Epistemology

Post 2

Noggin the Nog

I'm inclined to agree with Wittgenstein. Everything cn be doubted, but you can't doubt everything *at once*, or the doubt itself has no context or meaning.

There are also some things whch we can only doubt as a form of intellectual exercise, such as the existence of external reality (Descartes had to invoke the "representative reality" of some of his ideas to restart his thinking after reaching the cogito), or fundamental logic and simple arithmetic.


Metaphysics and Epistemology

Post 3

Nick_Em (not_him)

What about doubt itself? The very act of doubting it is contradictory - so we know doubt exists in some form?

And is it not possible to say that you are receiving perceptions (not necessarily of the external world but of something? For how can we say that our actual perceiving is open to doubt WHAT they are and represent is a whole different question.

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