Posts Tagged ‘kolakowski’

Maps and Territories

In fallibilism on 09/12/2011 at 2:46 am

For every judgment in a syllogistic chain, the mind seeks to discover a major premiss; the law of the syllogism requires that we seek a premiss for every premiss, a condition for every condition, until we arrive at that which is unconditional. This maxim is a proper one for the purpose of governing the operations of the mind, but it should not be confused with the erroneous supposition that there is in fact a first, unconditioned link in the chain of premisses. For it is one thing to know that every member of an intellectual sequence has a preceding condition, and quite another to maintain that we can comprehend the sequence in its entirety including a first, unconditioned member. (Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, 40)


The Spirit of Truth

In kolakowski on 05/08/2011 at 9:04 am

Philosophy can never discover any universally admissible truths … The cultural role of philosophy is not to deliver the truth but to build the spirit of truth, and this means never to let the inquisitive energy of mind go to sleep, never to stop questioning what appears to be obvious or definitive, always to defy the seemingly intact resources of common sense, always to suspect that there might be “another side” in what we take for granted, and never to allow us to forget that there are questions that lie beyond the legitimate horizon of science and are nonetheless crucially important to the survival of humanity as we know it. (Leszek Kolakowski, Modernity on Endless Trial, p. 135)


Stating the Obvious

In fallibilism on 20/07/2011 at 1:46 am

We may certainly define truth by reference to the criteria of efficacy; such a definition is not self-contradictory and does not lead into an infinite regress; nevertheless, it is arbitrary; to accept it requires an act of faith and therefore the principle credo ut intelligam operates over the entire field of knowledge; this is hardly more than to say that we are incapable of producing an epistemological absolute or that our intelligence is finite: not exactly a world-shaking discovery. (Leszek Kolakowski, Religion: If There Is No God– : On God, the Devil, Sin, and Other Worries of the So-Called Philosophy of Religion, p. 79)