Posts Tagged ‘methodology’

Following on from yesterday’s post, and this has probably been said before, scepticism is an unstable methodological principle. I’m thinking specifically of the anti-metaphysical scepticism to which I subscribed in the previous post. If scepticism confronts all metaphysics, for confronting’s sake, then it is inconsistent if it does not return this confrontation to the basis from which it springs (whether there is a distinct “basis” or the scepticism itself is the basis). By making an implicit distinction between critical questioning and the propositions which are questioned, a sceptical methodology posits itself as somehow outside of or apart from those propositions. It decries the illegitimacy of the propositions but does not question the legitimacy of its own questions. “What is truth?” is legitimate to the extent that it also asks, “to what extent is ‘What is truth?’ legitimate?” This inevitably leads to an “infinite” string of questions, as the basis for the question of the question must also be questioned. In short, insofar as scepticism is made a central methodological principle it can only be undertaken ignorantly or ironically.

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