6. Scepticism



  1. Scepticism

   There are some people who deny man to be able to know the truth

   The skeptic is that who affirms knowledge to be true for someone and false for another one. So, he concludes that anything can be affirmed or denied with certainty, that all is pure opinion and it is only right neither to affirm nor deny anything.

    The skeptic believes that men defend the most different positions about any question, and all of them believe to be right.

    Others draw on some verses of the poet Campoamor which say: “Nothing is true or wrong: everything is like the colour of the glass you see through”. Replaying to this the philosopher Ortega y Gasset defends that two men can gaze at the same landscape, but they do not see the same, because of their different culture, concept of beauty and tastes and hobbies. Could some of them affirm the landscape of the other to be false? Obviously not. But it would be also not reasonable if both judged as illusory the described landscapes.

    2. Commentary

    JOHN: It seems to me radical enough to say that the truth cannot be known.

    MARY: I think to be difficult to know completely the truth, but we can bring it closer.

    JOHN: The truth can be known from several points of view.

    MARY: I agree with you about that: everyone sees it from their culture, tastes and their way of thinking.

  A) COMPRENSION TEST. Choose one of these letters: a, b, c. (If the letter turns out in red colour, the answer is correct)

  1. How many affirm that the truth cannot be known?

    a. everyone
    b. a lot
    c. some

  2. “Nothing is true or false”, say:

    a. the skeptic
    b. who are sure
    c. the accurate

 3. There was a poet who talked about this:

    a. Antonio Machado
    b. Campoamor
    c. Lope de Vega

 4. A philosopher is mentioned:

    a. Ortega y Gasset
    b. Unamuno
    c. Aristotle

 5. “Nothing is true or false” was said by:

    a. Ortega y Gasset
    b. Aristotle
    c. Campoamor

 6. What was these two men gazing at?

    a. a picture
    b. a landscape
    c. a statue




  3. Realism or idealism

   Realism is a branch of philosophy that explains that human knowledge affirms the objective existence of reality, regardless of the subject. That is, things are how they are, although they seem to me more beautiful and to you uglier. Real things exist even though we see them in a different way.

    The idealistic philosophical current affirms that we know reality as reflected in the pond of our knowledge. It gives more importance to the subject or the person thinking than the things themselves. They say: we do not know things, but ideas. So they are called idealists.

     Aristotle still said that reality is not the ideas or mental products, but things. If there were only ideas there would be no science or technology.

    4. Commentary

    MARY: I think that idealists have a great deal of imagination, because food is not ideas, but cooked dishes which nourish us when we eat them.

     JOHN: But we see things according to our point of view.

     MARY: But we do not create things. They are there, even though we do not see in the same way.

    JOHN: Indeed. It seems to me that idealists are more theoretical than practical.

  B) COMPREHENSION TEST. Choose the right answer: a, b, c.

  1. __________ affirms the objective existence of reality:

    a. realism
    b. idealism
    c. ilusionism

  2. We do not know things but ideas. This is:

    a. realism
    b. idealism
    c. ilusionism

 3. __________ gives more importance to the subject:

    a. ilusionism
    b. realism
    c. idealism

 4. __________ gives more importance to things than to the subject:

    a. realism
    b. idealism
    c. ilusionism

 5. Who said that reality is the things?

    a. Aristotle
    b. Plato
    c. Socrates

 6. Sciences and technology support:

    a. idealism
    b. ilusionism
    c. realism






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| Educational applications |
Philosophy | In Spanish | To print |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL