domingo, 26 de novembro de 2006

(DC5) Certeza absoluta

Broughton diz:

Suppose I reflect upon two beliefs, my belief that p and my belief that q. I find upon reflection that both are reasonable for me to hold, and indeed that both are completely free from the everyday worries we may have about our beliefs. Suppose that upon further reflection I can find no grounds whatsoever for being less than entirely certain about p, but that I discover some slight grounds for being less than certain about q. (Call my belief that p “absolutely certain,” and my belief that q “morally certain.”) Now suppose that p and q conflict. Where should I give and withhold my assent? If my reflection upon p and q has been careful—thorough, thoughtful, clear—then I ought to believe that p: I am in the best possible epistemic relation to p. But if I ought to assent to p, and p and q cannot both be true, then I ought to disbelieve that q. I ought to assent to the negation of q. So here are two principles—that in these circumstances I ought to believe that p, and that in these circumstances I ought to disbelieve that q—that are essential to making the method of doubt productive. I ought to believe what I am absolutely certain about, and I ought to disbelieve whatever conflicts with these absolute certainties, even if that means disbelieving something about which I am morally certain. Further, Descartes never entertains the thought that two absolute certainties might conflict with one another. So by enabling me to discover absolute certainties, not only does the method of doubt show me where to give my assent when my investigations lead to propositions incompatible with my ordinary, morally certain beliefs; but also in doing this the method of doubt leads me to the discovery of incontrovertible beliefs, beliefs that will be absolutely sturdy and lasting. [p. 51]

Mas isso me dá razão para rejeitar q apenas no caso em que tenho certeza absoluta sobre p e sobre ~(p & q). Isso não explica o que devemos fazer no caso em que a crença em r é razoável e não temos certeza absoluta sobre se r conflita com alguma certeza absoluta, justamente o caso de quem se encontra lendo a Primira Meditação.

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