Friday, December 03, 2004


Thinkers from Descartes to Derrida have deconstructed our views of metaphysics and epistemology to such an extent that I won't belabor the topic here. In fact, one can generally just stand behind the standard nihilist argument against existence, "but how do you know?" Any supposition I make about metaphysics can simply be countered by this question, and any particularly good points can simply be refuted by asking the question more loudly and with more exaggeration on the word "know."

While the nihilsts have a compelling argument (and by compelling I mean, of course, annoying), it is just as compelling to clock a nihilist with a stiff blow to the solar-plexus and then ask them if my fist exists or not. I will cede that our perception might be imperfect, but there is at least one thing that we can be reasonably sure about: life.

Regardless our perception, we can agree that we do, indeed, perceive something, or at least believe we perceive something. If this is true then there must be something that is perceiving, or something that is believing it is perceiving, and this is us, our essence, or perhaps even our soul.

We must base our philosophy on what we know. There is nothing that one can know outside of their own existence, thus one's personal philosophy must be founded in their life and knowledge of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So your faith in the self is unshakable? - Dingel

2:32 PM  
Blogger RCowan said...

If I wasn't myself, what would I be? Even if I am only dreaming, there is at least something that is doing the dreaming. I never like to say that any belief I have is "unshakable," be cause I change my mind too often, but I don't understand how I could doubt my own existance.

1:44 PM  

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