Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A problem with an Existentialist conception of truth

For our first topic of discussion I propose a subject that will be of interest to those in the Existentialism class.

An existential conception of philosophy seems to have an essential flaw in the fact that it places the datum of truth with flawed individual. For example, Kieregaard discusses the phenomenon of people who possess a great theretical knowledge of morals, yet themselves lead immoral lives. However, just because a problem is not given assent does not necessarily show that it is false. The essential problem of man is his fallen state. Perhaps one might view this as a more theological that philosophical argument, but even philosophy has acknowledged the finitude of human epistemological capabilites. This fallen state, however, is more than an epistemological problem. In a moral sense, man even when he knows right and knows wrong, often will choose wrong. This is the necessary result of free will. This thought does not seem all that different from Kierkegaard or other existentialists, but the difference is in the placement of flaw. It would seem that an existenialist would view the existence of immorality in the face of theoretical knowledge as demonstrating a fundamental flaw in methaphysical philosophy/knowledge. On the other hand, I would place the flaw with the knower rather than the knowledge. Thoughts?

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