The Silent Philosophy

What can be said of revelatory moments in life whose meaning seems beyond the reach of words? Should anything be said at all? Philosopher Roger Scruton on the ineffable.

The temptation to take refuge in the ineffable is not confined to philosophers. Every inquiry into first principles, original causes and fundamental laws, will at some stage come up against an unanswerable question: what makes those first principles true or those fundamental laws valid? What explains those original causes or initial conditions? And the answer is that there is no answer—or no answer that can be expressed in terms of the science for which those laws, principles and causes are bedrock. And yet we want an answer. So how should we proceed?

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