Sunday, December 12, 2004

Epistemology

If we're going to assume that the self does, in fact, exist, there still is a disconnect between this assumption and any conclusion we can formulate about epistemology. Simply because we exist does not mean that we perceive, or that our perceptions are true, or that there even exists "truth" outside of our self.

I have, though, no means outside of my senses by which to seek understanding. No amount of logic or philosophical posturing can take me beyond the self besides my perceptions, and while my perceptions could be horribly incorrect, it is better than nothing.

There might be no world around me, there might be nothing outside of myself, but I at least perceive that there is, and it is my only clue on how I should live. I am able to bring about certain things in my perceived reality to further my existence and to make myself "happier," and I also have the ability to create pain and suffering for myself in my perceived reality.

If the reality I perceive is the only thing dictating the quality of life I have, then why shouldn't I live and die by the rules of the world I perceive? I have no other world in which to live besides this one, and even if I am simply deluding myself, at least I will have worked to make it a happy illusion.

This is not a proof of objective reality but rather a choice to play the game that is presented me. In interacting with the world around me I can either choose inaction which leads, in the reality I perceive, to death, or I can choose to act. If the existence of my self is the only assumption I can start with, I obviously would choose to hold onto that life above all else. The alternative would be to let go of all knowledge and all hope of future knowledge.

All this does not make reality objective, and does not mean that I have found "truth," but it does mean that my perceptions are as close as I can get to determining if those things exist.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difficulty here is that you are simply letting go, giving in to the world blindly with the assumption to decide that one exists in this perception, and assuming moreover that this is a better result. 1 is more than 0. Does that mean that it is better? We can compare the numbers, but find no reason to assume that 1 is better than zero; in the selfsame way, were it possible to compare existence and nonexistence we could say that one feels better, but to say that it is better is still relying on the self, and simply because the self is all we can be sure of is no reason to say that what is good for the self is good in and of itself, this is making a leap that does not follow. What is pleasant is pleasant, but this does not make what is pleasant good. This post sounds as if you are trying to convince yourself that what you write is true, its arguement struggling throughout, ultimately giving in to simply hoping that one exists on the hope that you have meaning.

10:53 PM  

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