Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chesterton Quote

Via Mark Shea:

Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody's system of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody's sense of reality: to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense. Each started with a paradox: a peculiar point of view demanding the sacrifice of what they would call a sane point of view. That is the one thing common to Hobbes and Hegel, to Kant and Bergson. to Berkeley and William James. A man had to believe something that no normal man would believe, if it were suddenly propounded to his simplicity; as that law is above right, or right is outside reason, or things are only as we think them, or everything is relative to a reality that is not there. The modern philosopher claims, like a sort of confidence man, that if once we will grant him this, the rest will be easy; he will straighten out the world, if once he is allowed to give this one twist to the mind.

IMHO, the problem with modern philosophy is that it treats necessary axioms (free will, reason, the knowable existence of objective reality, etc) as if they should be provable conclusions. Failing to find a way to prove the unprovable axioms (which are yet knowable by any sane person), modern philosophy rejects the axioms, landing it in a morass of utter confusion (and irrelevance).

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