Re: Pancritical Rationalism

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Tue Feb 20 2001 - 10:18:18 MST

> Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 16:54:54 -0800
> From: Max More <>
> Subject: RE: Question about PETA....
> At 04:07 PM 2/19/01, Hugo Alves wrote:
> >Chris Russo wrote:
> >"The problem is that many of these groups don't consider logic to be
> >as important as "we" do. Logic is only a convenient tool, to be used
> >when possible, but to be discarded when that logic might upset one of
> >their core beliefs."
> >
> >Can you prove anything logically without eventually bumping into an axiom
> >that requires you to have faith in it? Your logic has as many flaws as
> >the fundamentalist christians' faith. Theirs' just seem more shocking
> >because they don't make any effort in hiding the faith-related parts.
> Not true.
> Max
> _______________________________________________________
Not so fast. In his essay Max writes:

"Perhaps someone could produce an argument demonstrating that some of the
critical standards necessarily used by a pancritical rationalist were not
only unjustified but uncriticizable, that even the pancritical rationalist
must accept something as uncriticizable if circular argument and infinite
regress are to be avoided."
1. There is a long tradition that says that the law of noncontradiction
enjoys this status. (Although there are a buch of dialethic logicians down
under who think there are true contradictions). Putnam defends this view
with a weaker priniciple, namely, the minimal principle of noncontradiction:
not every statement is true and false. (V. "There is at least one A Priori
Truth" reprinted in his second volume of papers if memory serves). This is
not a trivial problem since you suggest consistency as a test below.
2. Why should we accept that circular arguments are _necessarily_ out of
bounds? Obviously trivially vicious arguments ought not to be accepted for
the most excellent reason that trivially vicious arguments ought not to be
accepted, but what about responses to Kant that allow circular
justifications, e.g., coherentists from Hegel to the present?

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