25 September 2011

Soap Suds Again

I wrote a blog entry here some time ago about the "metaphysics of soap suds."

For those of you who don't want to follow links around, here is the story in brief.  A fellow asked a question in Yahoo!Answers about whether some famous philosopher had copmpared huiman thoughts to soap bubles in the wash basin of nothingness. 

I tried to help him, and found a similar quote, but it was actually describing certain intellectual hypotheses as soap bubbles, it wasn't speaking generally of human life.

More recent, I have heard, via my facebook page, from Dave Natas, who informed me that he is the guy who originally asked about that quote, and that now he has found his answer. 

He had been thinking about a quote in a book by Henry Thomas, and Thomas was describing not his own views, but his understanding of the views of David Hume.

"Subtract all the forms and colours of our so called 'certain' beliefs, and what remains? A heap of empty, random sensations whirling around endlessly like unsubstantial soap bubbles in the washbowl of nothingness."

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.