The aim of this paper is to make clear in what sense Hume's actually very radical scepticism can nevertheless be called moderate, and not only leaves intact the praxis in daily life but is even compatible with a — modest and experimental — form of science. The first part stresses the theoretical profoundness of Hume's scepticism, and more specifically the arguments concerning the validity of reason and those concerning some typically 'metaphysical' objects. The former culminate in the impossibility of determining (...) a criterion of correctness and consequently in the degenerating of all knowledge into probability. The latter exceed the information of the senses, are therefore 'groundless' and yet in a way ineradicable, not as explanatory principles of reason but as factual constituents of human nature. The result is an overwhelming amount of contradictions and fictions within human imagination, mainly due to the inevitable presence of two contradictory beliefs, none of which are justifiable. In the second part it is shown how Hume succeeds in conquering scepticism without actually rebutting or revoking it. He is able to do so because his scepticism had, in fact, from the very beginning been elaborated as a form of naturalism, gradually minimizing the strength as well as the importance of reason as a theory, while at the same time stressing the deeply rooted and ultimately reliable character of reason as a praxis. The achievement of this naturalistic doctrine of 'belief is threefold : first, it is a critical weapon against metaphysical fictions, second, it gives man, and even the rational philosopher, an ineradicable peace of mind, and finally, it is the foundation of a special sort of science — the critical, experimentally rooted, modest and fundamentally doubtful science of human nature. (shrink)
Ondanks al zijn twijfels staat Nietzsche vrij positief tegenover de waarde van kennis en waarheid. Maar hij is tevens sceptisch over de mogelijkheid om de waarheid te kennen. Daarom ruimte hij een grote plaats voor de kunst in, die zijn creativiteit put uit het ongeloof in de waarheid.