Quote: Dennett on Jumping Out of the System

This describes many of the debates that linger in politics and economics as well. Generally there is a flawed fundamental premise that is not being examined.

When you are confronting a scientific or philosophical problem, the system you need to jump out of is so typically entrenched that it is as invisible as the air you breathe. As a general rule, when a long-standing controversy seems to be getting nowhere, with both “sides” stubbornly insisting they are right, as often as not the trouble is that there is something they both agree on that is just no so. Both sides consider it so obvious in fact that it goes without saying. Finding these invisible problem-prisoners is not an easy task…
…sometimes a problem gets started when somebody way back when said, “Suppose, for the sake of argument that,…” and folks agreed, for the sake of argument, and then in the subsequent parry and thrust everybody forgot how the problem started! I think that occasionally, at least in my field of philosophy, the opponents are enjoying the tussle so much that neither side wants to risk extinguishing the whole exercise by examining the enabling premises.

From Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.

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