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malthaussen

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Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2011, 10:36 AM
Number of posts: 13,671

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Bertrand Russell prophesizes:

"In all this I see a grave danger, the danger of what might be called cosmic impiety. The concept of 'truth' as something dependent upon facts largely outside of human control has been one of the ways in which philosophy hitherto has inculcated the necessary element of humility. When this check upon pride is removed, a further step is taken on the road towards a certain kind of madness, the intoxication of power which invaded philosophy with Fichte, and to which modern men, whether philosophers or not, are prone. I am persuaded that this intoxication is the greatest danger of our time, and that any philosophy which, however unintentionally, contributes to it is increasing the danger of vast social disaster."

(From A History of Western Philosophy)

One thing I find interesting about this admonition is that it was the conclusion of a section in which he criticizes the philosophy of truth defined by utility; to do so, he relies on an argument of utility.

But his warning certainly does ring true today, eh?

-- Mal
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