The empirical stance vs. the critical attitude

South African Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):200-223 (2005)
Abstract
Van Fraassen has recently argued that empiricism can be construed as a stance, involving commitments, attitudes, values, and goals, in addition to beliefs and opinions. But this characterisation emerges from his recognition that to be an empiricist can not be to believe, or decide to commit to belief in, a foundational proposition, without removing any basis for a non-dogmatic empiricist critique of other philosophical approaches, such as materialism. However, noticeable by its absence in Van Fraassen's discussions is any mention of Bartley's ‘pancritical rationalism’, for Bartley offers a cohesive argument that genuine dogmatism lies precisely in the act of commitment to an idea. The consequence of denying this, he thinks, is an opening of the floodgates to irrationalism: if to rely on reasoned argument in decision-making is fundamentally an act of faith, then there is a tu quoque – “I simply have a different faith” – that may be employed by those who wish to shield their views from criticism. This raises the following question: why should it be any less dogmatic to adopt particular commitments, attitudes, values, and goals, rather than a particular belief or opinion, come what may? And if Bartley is right that there is only one non-dogmatic attitude – the critical attitude – then why might this not be adopted by an empiricist, a materialist, a metaphysician, or anyone else?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,986
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

86 ( #14,410 of 1,101,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

28 ( #4,085 of 1,101,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.