Those in and around Saskatoon can head over to the St. James Church Basement tonight for another Philosophy in the Community session. Professor Anthony Jenkins will be discussing this issue. (Breaks added)
Philosophy has, throughout its past, been profoundly marked out from other fields of study by the peculiar roles skepticism has played within it. From its role in ancient philosophy to the varied roles skepticism has played in early modern philosophy, skepticism has been embraced or exploited as a part of philosophy itself.
But it has also been exploited, for both religious and also for more secularly humanist ends, against philosophy. In no other and for no other discipline has scepticism had or could it plausibly have any such roles as these.
In this talk, then, we will be examining critically each of these diverse roles skepticism has had in relation to philosophy, as well as the positions philosophers and the critics of philosophy have attempted to provide in opposition to skepticism. We hope that through such an examination we may be better able to understand and appreciate not only what philosophy is and has been but also of what it can still meaningfully be.
So, if you’re ever felt skeptical about skepticism, or philosophical about philosophy, this might be the place for you tonight.
Details (if you didn’t click the link):
St. James Church Basement
609 Dufferin Avenue
(at 12th Street, just off Broadway)
Instead of making a new post about their last event of the season, I’ll just add a comment about how it went — over my head.
Jenkins explained the difference between skepticism we might express in a day-to-day way and philosophical skepticism.
He used global warming as the example of the first kind, where skepticism isn’t the same as ignorance on a topic, but is used to let one (or every) side of the debate know that the onus will be on them to provide enough proof to change the mind on the topic.
He used Aristotle as an example of the second kind. Aristotle was very adamant that the only way to prove beyond a doubt that a philosophical idea was true was if everyone could be 100% certain of it. If you can’t be completely confident you’re right about that idea, then it isn’t right. A high standard, and I don’t recall if Jenkins mentioned any idea that met it, save perhaps this from geometry: lines that are completely parallel will never meet.
How in the hell can that count, you might ask. Because there’s a branch of philosophy that deals with mathematical conundrums. Go make your brain hurt: