The End of Certainty

A feature that attracts attention when one reads almost any text of traditional philosophy -say, until before the TWENTIETH century – is the centrality of the pursuit of a certain knowledge, or indeed the conflación of the idea of knowledge with certain knowledge and reliable. What has no solid base, non-negotiable, it’s not worth much and does not count as knowledge; and to discover that something doesn’t have that solid base is sufficient to remove the claim of truth associated with it. The same type of reasoning applies also to discussions on ethics (if there is no absolute rule, then everything is permitted-remember, Dostoyevsky) or even aesthetics.

The case is that this way, this dichotomy, is one of the things that with the development of modernity has been gradually losing weight. So, for example think in the case of science. With Kant the fundamental question was as it was possible for the physical pure: the obtaining of statements about nature that were universally valid and true. When the physical netwtoniana appeared as insufficient, then we pass from the incontrovertible affirmations to the axiomatic method. In this step, you repeated the idea that or had knowledge (a method) valid universally, or all it’s worth. But with the passage of time each and every day that has lost strength -and the idea that scientific claims have value even when they can’t be, nor to present total certainty either as content or as a method has gained strength. In general, to put it another way that having good reasons doesn’t mean you have reasons incontrovertible and well-informed. We have become accustomed, so to speak, a knowledge without foundations, but which can still give an account.

I am not sure, but I guess it is more ignorance that anything else, if there is a model of thought of mind; but in fact, I think that says rather a attitude of thinking that has expanded with the modernity. In some sense, David Hume was already a precursor to that: the fact that, for example, of causality we do not have more reason than custom and habit, and that had no greater foundation, was not an obstacle for, in practice, to continue to use this conception.

Somehow, we can posit that we’ve gone from the idea of reason as giving foundations to the idea of reason as giving associations.

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