Sunday, October 16, 2011

the problem in a nutshell

Philosopher Nicholas Rescher on the problem of irreducibly diverse philosophical perspectives and the impossibility of achieving universal consensus regarding perennial issues in philosophy:

The evolution of philosophy is a matter of the concurrent development of discordant traditions and points of view in ongoing and increasingly sophisticated rivalry. Philosophy is the battlefield of a perpetual struggle between divergent approaches developing in continual opposition and apposition, destined never to subside in the comfortable harmony of general agreement. The Humean "noise and clamor" of disagreement in philosophy is a formative component of its fate.

Rescher, Nicholas. The Strife of Systems: An Essay on the Grounds and Implications of Philosophical Diversity. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985. The above is from Chapter 11: "Is There Progress in Philosophy? The Problem of Unattainable Consensus," p. 203.


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