By R. G. Collingwood
One of many nice Oxford philosopher's best works, Essay on Metaphysics considers the character of philosophy, and places ahead Collingwood's unique and influential theories of causation, presuppositions, and the good judgment of query and solution. This re-creation comprises 3 interesting unpublished items that remove darkness from and enlarge the Essay.
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Additional resources for An essay on metaphysics
In the second place candour and veracity of themselves, and even combined with intelligence, can do very little towards answering the question, because the question is not one that can be settled by introspection. Introspection can do no more than bring into the focus of consciousness something of which we are already aware. But in our less scientific moments, when knowledge appears to us in the guise of mere apprehension, intuiting that which simply confronts us, we are not even aware that whatever we state to ourselves or others is stated in answer to a question, still less that every such question rests on presuppositions, and least of all that among these presuppositions some are absolute presuppositions .
Hence, too, it is nonsense to say, as some modern logicians do say, that supposing is one of various 'attitudes' which we can take up towards a proposition, where a proposition means something which can be either true or false. This is merely a device for imposing on unwary readers the dogma, of which more will be said hereafter, that all presuppositions are relative, or that there are no absolute presuppositions. V THE SCJENCE. OF ABSOLUTE PRESUPPOSITIONS IN low-grade or unscientific thinking we hardly know that we are making any presuppositions at all.
But when an absolute presupposition is touched, the invitation will be rejected, even with a certain degree of violence . , The rejection is a symptom that the 'subject', cooperating with the work of analysis, has come to see that the presupposition he is being asked to justify or abandon is an absolute presupposition; and the violence with which it is expressed is a symptom that he feels the importance of this absolute presupposition for the kind of work to which he is devoted. This is what in the preceding chapter I called being 'ticklish in one's absolute presuppositions'; and the reader will see that this ticklishness is a sign of intellectual health combined with a low degree of analytical skill.