Paul Lachine

الجهل اليوم

نيويورك ـ يقول أفلاطون إن الجهل أصل كل الشرور، ولقد اشتهر أفلاطون أيضاً بتعريفه الذي لا يزال شائعاً حتى اليوم لعكس الجهل: أو المعرفة. فالمعرفة في نظر أفلاطون "اعتقاد صادق مبرر". وهذا التعريف يستحق الدراسة في إطار تأملاتنا في المخاطر التي يفرضها الجهل على عالمنا في القرن الحادي والعشرين.

يرى أفلاطون أن "معرفة" أي شيء تتطلب توفر ثلاثة شروط: فلابد وأن تكون الفكرة محل النقاش صحيحة في واقع الأمر؛ ويتعين علينا أن نصدقها (لأننا إن لم نصدق شيئاً صحيحاً فلن يكون بوسعنا أن نزعم أننا نعرفه)؛ والشرط الأكثر فطنة هو أن تلك الفكرة لابد وأن تكون مبررة ـ فلابد وأن يكون لدينا من الأسباب ما يجعلنا نعتقد بأن تلك الفكرة صحيحة.

ولنتأمل هنا أمراً نتصور جميعاً أننا نعرفه: الأرض (شبه) كروية. هذا صحيح بما يتفق مع الحقائق الفلكية، خاصة وأننا نجحنا في إرسال أقمار اصطناعية إلى المدار ورأينا بأعيننا أن كوكبنا مستدير. ويعتقد أغلبنا أيضا (باستثناء جماعة متطرفة من المخبولين الذين يزعمون أن الأرض مسطحة) أن ذلك صحيح.

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