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Re: Bahnsen and Clark's Presupp - 2




I had asked:
>>Why should "therefore" imply or suggest induction?  

And at 10:48 PM 2/12/98 -0600, Joseph Dunn wrote:
>I see what you're asking.  Whether it implies induction or 
>deduction, the statement is *apparantly* Foundational, and 
>that's how I was responding (more generally) to Sproul's 
>problem.  A syllogism assumes intelligibility.

In this case, *epistemic foundationalism* (the assertion that
there are indubitables which provide warrant for dubitables
that are generated from them according to appropriate
principles of derivation) is being confused with 
*preconditionality* (the idea that some ontological state of 
affairs must obtain if experience is to be intelligible).
Yes, syllogistic reason does have ontological precommitments;
no, those ontological precommitments do not have the same
status as epistemic foundations.

>I admit the insurmountable problems of both Empiricism and 
>Rationalism.  What I tried to suggest in post 2 was that TAG,
>though using syllogism, avoids those problems.

TAG is certainly *intended* to avoid those problems.  I'm not
sure we've seen a demonstration that it does so.

>I intended these points, I think (my brain is tired), to take 
>TAG on an "end run" around the standard that says, "You can't 
>use foundations to prove foundations"

The indirectness of TAG is an important strategic factor, but
defusing foundationalism is not the same as defusing alternative
claims to preconditionality.  I hope that semantic differences
won't leave us talking past one another.

>Such a claim is, of course, arbitrary unless substantiated, and, I
>maintain, without an epistemological platform.  They need an
>epistemological framework (that doesn't rest on Jehovah) on which to make
>that claim.  They must show how that rationality relates to other
>universal invariants as well as to the empirical realm.  

Exactly.  And so must the Christian Theist do.  The question, then,
is what to make of the Fristian Theist, who appeals to authoritative
revelation (in which the apparent inconsistencies are masked by
an appeal to mystery) to provide a philosophical account that is
similar to Christian Theism in many respects, but different in some
key ones--say, it propounds a dual godhead rather than a triune one,
and allows for human sacrifice and has no sabbath.  Simply asking
where such a religion comes from is inadequate, since the person
propounding it can always claim to be its prophetic conduit from 
the transcendent realm.

>>Yes, but believing that he is, and drawing inferences about
>>possibility from that belief, is not the same as knowing
>>that he is and showing the warrant for that knowledge.
>
>I believe that I really *know* it and have shown the warrant for that
>knowledge.  Can you, arguing from any unbelieving worldview (if it were
>possible to argue outside your own) rationally justify or make
>intelligible the statement which doubts it?

See above, for the sake of argument.  Presumably the prophet of
Frist would think himself to have maximal warrant for his belief
in Frist, since the prophet believes that his construction of
an alternative faith is divinely guided.  So, he'd claim to
"know", too.

Thanks, Joseph, for the stimulating interaction.

David Byron
david.byron@aya.yale.edu


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