foundationalism

Marshall Feldman MARSH at uriacc.uri.edu
Mon Jan 23 11:53:26 MST 1995


>Re: foundationalism
>
>
>        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.

Well it's hard for me to see how metaphysical assumptions can avoid this.
If we assume atomism, then an analysis whose fundamental units are internal
relations (ala Ollman) would be ruled illegit, and if we assume interal
relations as our ontology, atomistic explanations are ruled out.  Mind, I'm
not saying the results can be deduced from the metaphysics, but only that
metaphysics rule some explanations out.

>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.

OK, but are we using "foundational" as the same as "fallabalistic" here?

>
>Philip GOldstein

Marsh Feldman
Community Planning                      Phone: 401/792-2248
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University of Rhode Island           Internet: marsh at uriacc.uri.edu
Kingston, RI 02881-0815

"Marginality confers legitimacy on one's contrariness."

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