Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Rosmini on Skepticism

Sceptics certainly have the right to subtle reasoning, but human society must be allowed its right over language, a right which cannot be taken away or violated with impunity. Human society, from the beginning of its existence until now, has always understood that, in affirming that it knows the truth of a proposition, it knows the final reason and element of the proposition. This is the only value human society has given to the word ‘truth’. Sceptics therefore cannot deny truth; they do not even attack it if they agree that human beings, on analysing every argument, reduce it to its ultimate element or reason of reasoning. To call this reason false is a misuse of words, because what we call truth is this very reason. Truth therefore is immune from the sceptics’ attacks, and the difference between the sceptics and common sense is simply this: common sense, once it has attained the truth, is satisfied, and acknowledges its satisfaction, whereas scepticism is unaware of the truth it has attained and continues its search for something more elevated, arbitrarily and misleadingly called ‘truth’.

Antonio Rosmini, New Essay Concerning the Origin of Ideas, Section 6, Part 1, Chapter 8, section 1063.

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