Tuesday, May 26, 2009

惊异与真理的哲学 Philosophy of Wonder and Truth


We noted that the western philosophy began in wonder. It is said that wonder is the special affection of a philosopher; for philosophy has no other starting point than this.
The philosophy of wonder is wedded to pre-modern philosophy. Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle approached reality with an aura of wonder, which assumes that knowledge exists, and that knowledge is justified according to the necessary conditions of it being true.
Truth is, therefore, one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years. Moreover, a huge variety of issues in philosophy relate to truth, either by relying on theses about truth, or implying theses about truth.
As Aristotle said, ‘I love my teacher Plato, but I love the truth more.’
Epistemology is the investigation into the grounds and nature of knowledge itself. The study of epistemology focuses on our means for acquiring knowledge and how we can differentiate between truth and falsehood. Today epistemology generally involves a debate between rationalism and empiricism, or the question of whether knowledge can be acquired a priori or a posteriori:
Rationalism: knowledge can be acquired through the use of reason.
Empiricism: knowledge is obtained through experience.
Theists tend to be much more willing to accept rationalism, believing that ‘truth’ can be attained through revelations, mysticism, faith, etc. During early Renaissance (rebirth) period, the search for truth began to shift from religion to science. Whereas truth had always been determined in reference to something else - God, universal intelligence, natural law, reason or nature - man became, to borrow a phrase from the Greek Sophist Protagoras, ‘the measure of all things.’
The modern world searched for truth scientifically. Modernism possessed a confident worldview. Believing that nothing exists beyond what our senses can perceive, modernists determined truth as they experienced it. Modernism, with its unconditional belief in objective reality, saw truth as the result of statements that could be either proved or disproved.

No comments: