A Philosophy of Progress

In one of my previous posts I discussed my understanding of relativism and why I dislike it.  Today I am going to write about a general feeling that I have which I believe is extremely important in the way I approach philosophy.

I waffle a lot on which philosophies that I subscribe to.  I like existentialism, I like Heidegger, I like pragmatism, and sometimes I feel like my different ideas may tangle each other up.  I would say though that a factor that underpins all the philosophies I like is that they change – or at least, they give an account of change.  They don’t allow for absolute eternal knowledge, but they also allow for us to improve and better ourselves.  They are continuously progressive – they don’t ever finish but advocate continuous engagement with the process of change itself.

I think that it is this inclination towards “progressive” philosophy that is in many ways responsible for the spirit of my disagreement with philosophies such as relativism and dogmatism.  Both relativism and dogmatism often seem to advocate static approaches to the world – one way to live, or shutting down conversation by treating differing opinions as irresolvable.  Its not even that I think that opinions are necessarily resolvable, but I am firmly against abandoning the progress of change that is conversation.

I think that in many ways my study of philosophy is really a study of how I should change my beliefs over time – discovering the right way to progress.

Let me know what you think, and thank you for reading.

Ryan Workman


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