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A Crack in the Stoic's Armor?

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  • Jan Garrett
    Article by Nancy Sherman fyi http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/a-crack-in-the-stoic-armor/
    Message 1 of 32 , Jun 3, 2010
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    • brunians@brunians.org
      Uh-huh. .
      Message 32 of 32 , Jun 5, 2010
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        Uh-huh.

        .


        > As you say our abilities are limited, which means we must use
        > generalizations and theories. They are useful, but the fact of
        > our limited ability causes me to believe that the theories which we
        > follow, seriously, should be minimal and as sound as possible.
        >  
        > Regards
        > Kevin
        > --- On Fri, 6/4/10, jan.garrett@... <jan.garrett@...>
        > wrote:
        >
        >
        > From: jan.garrett@... <jan.garrett@...>
        > Subject: [stoics] Re: A Crack in the Stoic's Armor?
        > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Friday, June 4, 2010, 11:00 PM
        >
        >
        >  
        >
        >
        >
        > You're right, I am not saying one cannot critically examine beliefs. But
        > that does not mean that the person critically examining a belief
        > approaches the debated issue with no presuppositions at all.
        >
        > If we had infinite cognitive ability (which alas we do not), we might try
        > to maximize our critical examination abilities by confronting two contrary
        > theories with the totality of the empirical evidence; which would enable
        > us to determine which of the two theories was better supported by the
        > evidence.
        >
        > Of course, it is always possible that a third theory, contrary to each of
        > the first two (although perhaps overlapping with them), is better
        > supported by the totality of the evidence. Which means that it is a virtue
        > to try to imagine new theories, syntheses of apparently supported but
        > contrary old theories and give them a cognitive chance.
        >
        > --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Kevin <kevin11_c@...> wrote:
        >>
        >>
        >> --- On Fri, 6/4/10, Jan Garrett <jan.garrett@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> "... Everyone filters what they
        >> understand of a philosophy through their own prior understanding and
        >> belief systems. Even when they think themselves converted or
        >> persuaded to the perspective they have heard of or read, this is the
        >> case...."
        >> __________________________________________________________
        >>
        >>
        >> The second sentence makes it seem as if one cannot critically examine
        >> beliefs, but I'm not sure if this is what you meant to say.
        >>  
        >> The first sentence seems true to me, but it is also true that one can
        >> be committed to a general theory, such as a general theory of the
        >> evolution of philosophy or political thought, and _force_ an
        >> interpretation of a particular philosophy or political system so that it
        >> falls within the parameters of your theory. I think If one isn't careful
        >> this results in fallacious thinking. Instead of using the specific
        >> information to support a general theory the opposite occurs and one
        >> interprets specific information in accordance with your theory.
        >>
        >> Regards
        >> Kevin
        >>
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