Ode to the Failure of Modern Philosophy to Defeat Skepticism

Poor ol’ Pyrrho, he’s the hero
   Of my somber poetry:
Couldn’t figure how to pick your
   Core beliefs with certainty.

Bold Descartes, he got the party
   Started with his Cogito.
Up popped Pyrrho (what a zero!),
   Said to think is not to know.

Next, John Locke, he tried his luck; he
   Claimed true knowledge must appear
By consensus of the senses,
   But just how, he wasn’t clear.

David Hume, an ornery human,
   Stripped Sir Science of support.
Just one reason he could seize on:
   Custom is our sheer resort.

Kant, the strange one, said, now hang on;
   For what’s really real don’t fuss:
Be content to just consent to
   What our minds make real to us.

Lastly, Hegel scored a bagel
   With his dialectic ways:
Synthesizing’s just surmising
   When you have no solid base.

Oh, bewail their learned failure
   To make absolutely sure
Of the theories man can fear he’s
   Welcomed with a false allure!

As for poor ol’ Pyrrho’s moral,
   Which I think we should applaud:
Don’t be blurtin’ that you’re certain—
   You are just a man, not God.

Ed Morris, 2011

This page copyright © 2011 Edward A. Morris.  Created June 1, 2011.  Last updated June 1, 2011.

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