Friday, May 21, 2021

Answering the Epistemologist

A reader who contacted me privately asked a number of questions the proper philosophical starting point and related matters. This reader, in spite of all the material I’ve assembled on my blog, apparently persists in thinking that some cognitive structure or mental operation (e.g., beliefs, faith, reasoning, inference, etc.) must be the proper starting point, apparently unaware of the fact that mental operations must always have some independently existing object to which said mental operations must refer and conform, and without which those mental operations would simply have no basis or purpose. 

After I made several attempts to explain why the human mind must start with the objects of consciousness rather than with some cognitive structure or mental operation, the reader announced that we had basically reached an impasse and that we were “going to agree to disagree.” However, where exactly the disagreement lies remains a bit of a mystery, at least to me.