foundationalism

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Sat Jan 21 05:33:05 MST 1995


	Marshall Feldmann accepts an overdetermined mode of analysis but
considers it foundational partly because scientists make metaphysical
assumtions and partly because it is impossible to keep all questions
open, as an anti-foundational position would require. I can grant that
scientists make metaphysical assumptions, as Kuhns says, but I do not
agree that therefore their analyses are foundational. In my view, for an
analysis to be foundational, it must claim that its metaphysical
principles govern its results in some deductive sense. In other words,
the results are possible because of the metaphysical assumption. This is
different from a Kuhnian analysis in which anomalies expose the
metaphysical assumptions or worldview which has implicitly governed
interpretive practive all along. A foundational analysis rules out
results incompatible with its assumptions -- no anomalies. In other
words, insofar as an anti-foundational analysis precludes the notion that
theories govern practice, it does not keep all options open.

Philip GOldstein

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