doubt and senses in philosophydo you believe we shoukd rely on doubt or our senses for certainty in philosophy?why or why not?

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

For my part, I'd say that there are significant and important reasons to consider the fallibility of our senses, but there is also a difference between rational/practical and philosophical doubt.

If I approach the idea of the color of a leaf philosophically, I might reasonably surmise that the leaf is not truly green, it is only green according to my own language, my own sensory apparatus, and my humanity in general. A mosquito would see the leaf as either hot or cold, not green or orange or yellow.

So, philosophically, the leaf is not truly green. It is only subjectively green. However, practically speaking, the leaf is green if it looks green. And that's all there is to it.

If we were to allow the apprehension of color to be a philosophical question open to doubt, we would be practically paralyzed.

 

litteacher8's profile pic

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

Posted on

I do not think we rely on doubt so much as take the time to consider doubt.  Basically, we cannot take things at face value.  We need to be willing to accept that something might be different than people are telling us, and that is doubt.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think that we can rely on our senses.  We know very well that our senses can fool us at times.  Sickness can certainly cause that and even when we are well we can be fooled by things like optical illusions.  So our senses really can't be a source of absolute certainty.

 

ericalynne1104's profile pic

ericalynne1104 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I don't think that we can rely on our senses.  We know very well that our senses can fool us at times.  Sickness can certainly cause that and even when we are well we can be fooled by things like optical illusions.  So our senses really can't be a source of absolute certainty.

 

  how can you rely just solely on doubt when there is so much about one thing to doubt

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