Another example of transgression giving birth to new "truth" is that of utilitarianism. Deonotogists have set, fixed rules regarding moral oughts. The consequentialists came along and said: well, what if we did otherwise? The old, hoary brown deontologists like Kant would say 'No! This isn't permissible!' But the English empiricists just went ahead and thought about it any way, bringing us Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Some of these ideas have even fed into economics, so we break those rules every time we open our purses. Are you going to pay for that crossiant? Well, we'll have to see - it all depends on a cost benefit analysis, and if we decide to break the rules, then so be it.
|We will not listen to this man.|
This kind of boldness scares some people who have not done philosophy for many years. Even cost benefit analysis can be questioned, for example. But how to decide? We can't use cost benefit analysis because that is the very thing in question! But without begging the question, we can take an unknown dive into the dark, and maybe we'll come out the other end with some new philosophical wisdom!
So this is an exciting way of thinking about thinking (which is arguably a good definition of philosophy itself) - and here I have just begun scratching at the "surface layer". What rules will you break today?
|'Stop right there.' he says. Well, no! We will not stop right there!|
Please leave your comments in the comments but do not make any false or misleading statements. Many of you have tried to pull the wool over my eyes in some of these comments, but I always pull my way out from under it, at which point you begin to look less astute.