Monday, February 08, 2010

Self-Refuting Positions

From New Zealand.


Gordon Knight said...

'I don't exist" is not self-refuting.

How do you (or I) know that I am not a non-existent object?

some of the others are suspect too. One could simply Believe justifiably that nothing can be known with certainty. Didn't Socrates hold that view?

Steve said...

My favourite example of self-refutation is one of "Sally Brown's" new philosophies in the Peanuts comic strip. She announces to Charlie "No. That's my new philosophy. I don't care what anyone says, the answer is always 'No'". Charlie simply says in response, without turning to look at Sally, "So that's your new philosophy, huh?"
Sally thinks for a moment before saying "You ruined my new philosophy". At one stage I had this comic strip laminated and used it as a book mark, but it seems to have got lost. Wish I could find it ...

Steve Lovell

Anonymous said...

One could simply Believe justifiably that nothing can be known with certainty.
this depends on equivocation over "believe justifiably" and "known with certainty" so that you want us to think they are the same at one point and not the same at another

Gordon Knight said...

I thought that "Believe justifiablyh" meant something like has a good probability of being true and know with certainty meant, well, known with certainty (impossibility of error).

I believe justifiably that there are other people (so I naively think). I know with certainty I exist, I am in pain (when I am). etc.

I think lots of phil. do deny that anything is known with certainty in this sense, though I have never quire understood why.

Blue Devil Knight said...


"Andre Z" said...

Good to see New Zealand represented here! Though I also think some of them aren't exactly "self"-refuting.