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Why Tradition Is No Soft Option (re-dated)
November 5, 2008, 2:50 am
Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: , , ,

Not everything we know can be rendered explicit. In other words, we know more than we can say.

What we cannot say can neither be a premise nor a conclusion in an an explicit argument.

It is impossible to formalize and render explicit all of our actual beliefs, even those upon which some of our explicit beliefs are premised.

So the fact that we find ourselves unable to provide an explicit argument for something doesn’t mean we don’t know it, or don’t need to worry about it.

So it is not always wrong to allow a practice or a belief to prevail even though we have no explicit argument for it. It is sometimes right to keep with tradition, and it is completely rational for us to do so.

But not always.

There are no explicit rules to tell us exactly when to keep with tradition and when to move on. That is just one of the many burdens of human life. We need to learn to live wisely in the midst of the uncertainty.


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