Convergence of Skepticism, Empiricism, Fideism and RationalismDiscuss how the philosophical expressions of Scepticism, Empiricism, Fideism and Rationalism converge, together with the names of each...

Convergence of Skepticism, Empiricism, Fideism and Rationalism

Discuss how the philosophical expressions of Scepticism, Empiricism, Fideism and Rationalism converge, together with the names of each of their single most iconic proponents (e.g. David Hume for Skepticism, Thomas Aquinas for Fideism).  Do they have any discernable points of agreement?  Please include in the discussion identification of the four single 21st century writers who, in your opinion, most expressively represent each view, whether philosophical, scientific, theological or sociological (with links, if possible).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fideism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalism

 

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that what some of them have in common is that they come from the human mind. For example, both skepticism and rationalism basically say that truth comes from what our minds think up.  The same is true for empiricism, except your mind makes things up based on observation.

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is an enormous question. I don't know exactly what kind of answer you are looking for. When you say 21st century writers, do you mean theologians and philosophers, public intellectuals, politicians, etc.?

As for the convergence of the different approaches, skepticism, empiricism, and rationalism seem to have more points of agreement with each other than they do with fideism. If you are thinking specifically about the Thomistic version of fideism, however, it is based on rational inquiry, except within certain bounds. Indeed, Aquinas is often viewed as a progenitor of the use of reason and logic. So one might argue that more similarities exist between fideism and rationalism than the others. Hume's skepticism was based to an extent on empiricism, though ultimately he doubted the ability of observation, and thus reason, to reach correct conclusions.

michaelpaulheart's profile pic

michaelpaulheart | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

I would say that what some of them have in common is that they come from the human mind. For example, both skepticism and rationalism basically say that truth comes from what our minds think up.  The same is true for empiricism, except your mind makes things up based on observation.

  Does your answer include natural and/or special revelation as from outside the human mind?  and is that included by you as legitimate element of empiricism?

michaelpaulheart's profile pic

michaelpaulheart | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

This is an enormous question. I don't know exactly what kind of answer you are looking for. When you say 21st century writers, do you mean theologians and philosophers, public intellectuals, politicians, etc.?

As for the convergence of the different approaches, skepticism, empiricism, and rationalism seem to have more points of agreement with each other than they do with fideism. If you are thinking specifically about the Thomistic version of fideism, however, it is based on rational inquiry, except within certain bounds. Indeed, Aquinas is often viewed as a progenitor of the use of reason and logic. So one might argue that more similarities exist between fideism and rationalism than the others. Hume's skepticism was based to an extent on empiricism, though ultimately he doubted the ability of observation, and thus reason, to reach correct conclusions.

   Yes, I included in the invitation to discussion all who, in the readers' opinion/s here at this site, could be considered the four single best expressive 21st century representatives of each of the four views (inclusive of "theologians and philosophers, public intellectuals, politicians, etc.".)  I cited Aquinas deliberately as possibly the iconic proponent of Fideism for the rationalist reasons you expressed, in the stead of St. Paul, as a clarifying prompt.  Your answer is very much appreciated.

Excluding Fideism, then, cite what you perceive as the points of agreement among skepticism, empiricism, and rationalism.  (Brevity is possible, I think, if the points are listed.)  How, then, is Fideism excluded?  The sites linked above are inconclusive.  Again, Thank you.

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