And the problems of Philosophy
Am I Alone?
You want to know the answer to the following questions:
- Do I exist?
- Do others exist? What about the world?
What do they even mean
Frankly, even the concepts of ‘exist’ and ‘I’ are confusing just for starters. How would you go about a proof of this, or come up with a meaningful definition. Even if you were fairly sure you knew what you meant the question seems nearly impossible. Perhaps you know the ‘present’ self, but want to be sure that your future and past selves ‘existed’. The world, as the things we interact with and know, we want it to be real and to know it is real. Again, what does real mean? Perhaps its meaning is derived from the very thing you question – the existence of some outside world you inhabit.
And what about others? You want them to be real, how do you know it’s not an illusion. How do you know, beyond you seeing things which look like you, that they are thinking, feeling beings like you?
Out of time
You want to know all this, yet you need to understand it all at once. Otherwise, your feeling of understanding – that you understood the previous part of the argument – might all be an illusion. Maybe a clever deception by an evil demon.
What to do
Despite these questions, we find ourselves ‘in the world’. Is there a way to do what is right in the presence of such uncertainty?
Perhaps these questions cannot be answered. But if they cannot, you want to know they cannot.
What I want to do here
I want to give you a sense of the barrage of seemingly impossible questions that I face and want to think about and solve. Despite ourselves, we are curious and desire knowledge and certainty.
So I aim to tackle these issues over the course of the next few years. If you are curious about these questions as well, I’d love some company as I start to think and answer these sorts of questions. If you’ve read what I’ve written so far, that should give you a hint of the direction of my thoughts. And I want your input and ideas (and articles!) to solve the questions of Philosophy.