"What are the facts?" - Epicureanism | Epic Swerve

"What are the facts?"

“When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: ‘What are the facts, and what is the truth the facts bear out?’ Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think could have beneficial social effects, if it were believed. But look only and solely at: ‘What are the facts?’” — Bertrand Russell


Lord Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who advocated for a scientific approach to philosophy (and government). Here is the video where this quotation comes from (a 1959 interview with the then-87-year-old man).

This quotation is related to and supports the following Epic approach:

True contentment requires sufficient understanding about reality to arrive at sure conclusions. But, our conclusions and opinions can be flawed.

Therefore, we must carefully analyze the evidence gathered by our faculties. That which is supported by evidence and not contradicted by evidence is true; but that which is not supported by evidence, and is contradicted by evidence, is false. We reserve judgment as to the truth of a matter when we do not have sufficient evidence to form a clear determination on the matter.

In this way one detail of truth after another is deduced from general principles.