Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another thought on 'knowing'

Related to yesterday's post is a quote by G.K. Chesterton, who seemed to think merely abstract thinking couldn't provide an adequate account of life, human experience, and the ultimate nature of things.

Chesterton wrote that "scrappy" evidence can convince the mind of atheism just as well as Christianity (addressing how we know things, not so much what our position on some point of view might be). Chesterton continued to write, "I mean that a man may well be less convinced of a philosophy from four books than from one book, one battle, one landscape and one old friend. The very fact that the things are of different kinds increases the importance of the fact that they all point to one conclusion."

It's sort of like this: all aspects of our experience lead us to the convictions of our hearts, and from our hearts we choose our perspectives. C.S. Peirce knew this to be true when he wrote, "Let us not pretend to doubt in philosophy what we do not doubt in our hearts." I hope to find Peirce's definition of "heart."

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