Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
<Previous Next>
Sun Apr 10 22:16:34 2011
Foundations of Metaphilosophy

One of the most difficult questions I've asked myself over the last few years, in the field of philosophy: Your justification of the foundations of science is based on a mix of aesthetic and pragmatic grounds (allows theories, fits data). Assume we accept the validity of this foundation in the field of science. The modes of reasoning you allow follow from this. However, you use these same modes of reasning beyond the areas that are data-driven. As you disallow a priori reason, and demand pragmatism (with particular formulations amining to justify empiricism), is your philosophy adequate to justify the same types of reasoning in areas devoid of data-driven frameworks?

Consider particularly philosophy as a field contrasted to physics. Logic itself cannot self-justify, so you import/use/apply it in physics under the reasoning that it's pragmatically useful in helping to allow for testable theories. You cannot do this in most areas of philosophy, because these areas make no predictions and are not tied to any physical effects. How do you build foundations (even those as fundamental as logic or structured thought) for philosophy?

My answer to this is fairly long, and this is probably not the best way to phrase the question.