David Pierce,

This is a philosophical issue I struggle with constantly. Reason that is. On the one hand I’m convinced of Hume’s idea that reason is a slave to the passions. We are simply not rational animals. Haidt writes a lot about that in his The Righteous Mind book.

On the other hand, stoic virtue ethics makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. Further, I can see, at least in my own life, the benefits of an application of their teaching. The problem, as you have written about in your comments here a few times, is that stoic virtue ethics rely so heavily upon reason.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these two positions. This is why so often I feel my natural inclination towards epistemological modesty veers into outright epistemological nihilism.

Basically I have no idea what’s going on and I never will.

For my friends and family, love. For my enemies, durian fruit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store