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Quora Answer : Are most questions of philosophy unanswerable?

Jun 26, 2020

Not at all.

Philosophers are giving answers to them all the time.

The problem is that it seems that philosophers are not able to give "definitive" answers to the questions; answers that seem to satisfy everyone and don't leave openings for further doubts and revisions.

What we have to ask, though, is whether any discipline really gives definitive answers. I think most scientists today would accept that scientific results are "provisional". And simply our best current theory that might yet be overturned tomorrow.

Scientists, being the great and responsible thinkers that they are, don't aggrandize themselves by claiming to have had the last word on their objects of enquiry.

In fact almost no responsible profession likes to make definitive statements. Whether it's the medical profession - "Tell me Doc, how long have I got?" - or computer programmers - "Can you fix those bugs by the end of next week?" - or economists - "Will we be out of recession before the election?"

Who does claim to have definitive answers to questions? Largely charlatans and hucksters trying to sell you something.

Well, philosophy is simply the discipline that went to war with and ejected its hucksters and charlatans - the "sophists" who claimed to have the definitive answers - earlier than everyone else.

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