Monday, May 21, 2012

The invention of philosophy

Philosophy was invented because people disagree with each other. Think about it. If you hold an idea in your mind, that means you believe it to be true. If everyone agrees with you, then you never have a conflict. Imagine then that one day someone disagrees with you. They tell you that you're wrong. It might come as quite a shock. The first time it happens you might try to convince them by arguing the particular facts in question. The second time it happens you might do the same thing. But if people continue to disagree with you, it might occur to you that either you are wrong, or they are wrong, or both of you are wrong. This might lead you to consider how one goes about proving who is right or wrong. This might lead you to consider what truth and falsehood mean. What is truth in general? What is falsehood in general? How does one prove anything to be true or false. And so on.

And thus you are forced by the circumstance of being disagreed with, to search beyond the moment... beyond the particular facts... and to consider the particular more abstractly.

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