Monday, September 17, 2007

What makes arguments from reason argument from reason

BDK wrote: It seems every argument against naturalism you see is a reformulation of the argument from reason. :p

VR: Not exactly. What distinguishes arguments from reason from other types of arguments is that there is a built-in block against denying the existence of what the argument says that naturalism can't explain. The threat to undermine reason, and therefore the entire scientific enterprise is the heart of the argument. Naturalists have to love science, therefore they can't go subjectivist about epistemic values without cutting their own throats.

What makes all of this so complex is that the existence of the scientific enterprise has lots of components. If there weren't any intentionality, there would be no science. If there were not propositional attitudes, there would be no science (OK, you'll argue with me on that). If truth and falsity did not exist there would be no science. If mental causation did not exist, there would be no science. If the unity of consciousness did not exist, there would be no science. If there were no objectively binding epistemic norms there could be no science. If the laws of logic had no absolute legitimacy there could be no science.

It works kind of like a Kantian transcendental argument. What are the conditions necessary for the possibility of the discovery of scientific truth?



At 9/17/2007 06:27:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering that reason is the foundation for so many avenues of human activity is it really that surprising?


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