Show Less
Restricted access

Dancing with Absurdity

Your Most Cherished Beliefs (and All Your Others) Are Probably Wrong


Fred Leavitt

Dancing with Absurdity explores the limitations of knowledge and argues that neither reasoning nor direct observation can be trusted. Not only are they unreliable sources, they do not even justify assigning probabilities to claims about what we can know. This position, called radical skepticism, has intrigued philosophers since before the birth of Christ, yet nobody has been able to refute it.
Fred Leavitt uses two unique methods of presentation. First, he supports abstract arguments with summaries of real-life examples from many and varied fields, which make the arguments much more convincing and compelling. He cites more than 200 studies from psychology, mathematics, chaos theory, quantum mechanics, evolutionary theory, history, the corporate world, politics, the military, and current news reporting. Second, Leavitt’s writing is user-friendly, even when dealing with complex issues.
Whether answering the telephone, turning on the TV, talking with friends, or munching on an apple, we expect things to happen predictably. These expectations, paired with radical skepticism, exemplify cognitive dissonance at the highest level. Although certain of nothing, other than that we can be certain of nothing, it’s certain that readers will come to be intrigued by the problem.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Four: The Four Pillars of Knowledge


| 25 →


The Four Pillars of Knowledge

Four separate pillars help us to (seemingly) understand the world. That is, everything we (think we) know comes from one of only four sources. Philosopher Immanuel Kant proposed one source. He argued that we are born with certain innate knowledge. Instinct theorists and people who believe that psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are inherited diseases are, at least to some extent, Kantians. Studies within the past two decades show that newborn babies know and can do a great deal. Kant would have been pleased.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.