quarta-feira, outubro 10, 2007

Declaração de intenções pós-positivista
"Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but, like science, it appeals to human reason rather than authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation. All definite knowledge - so I shall contend - belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasse definite knowledge belongs to theology. But between theology andscience there is a No Man's Land, exposed to attacks from both sides; this No Man's Land is philosophy. Almost all the questions of interest to the speculative minds are such as science cannot answer, and the confident answer of theologians no longer seems so convincing as they did in past centuries. Is the world divided into mind and matter, and, if so, what is mindand what is matter? Is mind subject to the matter, or is it possessed of independent powers? Has the Universe any unity or purpose? Are there really laws of nature, or do we believe them only because of our innate love of order? Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is he perhaps both at once?Is there a way of living that is noble and another that is base, or ae all ways of living merely futile? (...)
Science tells what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much cannot know we become insensitive to many things of great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have insolence, and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of conforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions that philosophy asks, or to persuade ourselves that we have found indubitable answers to them. To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralised by hesitation, is perhaps the first thing that philosophy in our age can still do for those who study it.
Bertrand Russel, History of Western Philosophy

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