Consider the statement, "There exists at least one true statement." Is a demonstration of the truth of this statement possible, which does not assume the statement's truth? If so, what is that demonstration? If not, does it then follow that certain knowledge - that is, knowledge that is conscious of itself as knowledge - is impossible?
I often find myself to be impatient, often frustrated, when people claim something to be 'obvious', and never more than when I think that they are using it incorrectly. An example of this might be "obviously, Hitler was an evil man", or "obviously, it's better to be poor and happy than rich and sad" - this is because I wish justification for their claim, and do not want to simply accept it (in these cases because of popular opinion). I realise that both of these examples are ethical, but is there anything that is understood by philosophers to be obvious (and by obvious I mean without need of qualification or justification)?
I was walking down my school hall today and was thinking about just some random things, such as how this hallway smells, who that person looks like, etc. Then, about 2 minutes later I began to think the same basic thoughts, just in a seperate location and at a later time. Since nobody else heard these thoughts the first time, maybe my mind did not really think of them 2 minutes ago but was just telling myself that 2 minutes ago I thought those things. What I mean to say is, how can I be sure that I thought of something earlier if my mind may have just fabricated its own memories?
We've made incredible scientific and technological strides as a society, but do we as individuals know anything more than we ever have? Everything I know about science I've learned from books, magazines, newspapers, teachers, family and friends. I mean, I haven't done any of the research myself, and I can't imagine being able to do enough of the research myself to really know even a small fraction of what the scientific facts we take for granted. So do I just take all these books, teachers, friends, etc. at their word? If so, how is my situation any different than somebody who lived 500 years ago and also got all his information from books, teachers and friends?
It seems philosophy is about one's relationship with the world... yet, there is no category of "Relationships" presented by AskPhilosophers. Perhaps it's too broad a category? Perhaps the right category for the following question is "Personality"... but that's not on the list either.
It seems that personalities shift as part of a relationship. Behaviors that wouldn't have ever been displayed not only present themselves but seem to be part of a persona and then are viewed as part of one's personality. How do we know the true nature of one's personality?