Is foundationalism possible without regress?

Is foundationalism possible without regress?

Abstract Foundationalism is false; after all, foundational beliefs are arbitrary, they do not solve the epistemic regress problem, and they cannot exist without other (justified) beliefs. Or so some people say. In this article, I argue that these arguments are invalid because they rely on an incorrect understanding of what it means for a belief to be foundational.

What is the goal of foundationalism?

Some beliefs, according to foundationalists, are correctly fundamental, and the remainder of one's beliefs inherit their epistemic status (knowledge or justification) as a result of obtaining sufficient support from the basic beliefs. In other words, all else being equal, if belief B is easier to justify than not-B, then B is more justified than not-B.

Foundationalism about logic is the view that certain logical systems are true and correct in exactly those contexts in which they can be used to prove all valid conclusions drawn from them. Thus, they provide us with a way of establishing the truth of our most important beliefs without relying on any other truths about what actually happens in reality. The classic example is the logic of intuition, but many other logics have been proposed as foundational in this sense. The aim of foundationalism about logic is therefore to show that some logics are able to serve as a basis for all rational inquiry while others cannot.

It should be noted that foundationalism does not imply that only a few items of knowledge are possible; it only says that we can know some things without depending on anything else to do so. So, for instance, someone who believes that all swans are white may still believe that some swans are black. What foundationalism does claim is that we can know that all swans are white without knowing anything else about swans or blackness.

What is the regress argument for foundationalism?

1. Regressive Foundationalism Arguments A fundamental or noninferentially justified belief is one that is not supported by any other beliefs. According to foundationalism, each justified belief must either be foundational or rely on foundational beliefs for its justification. Thus, no non-foundational belief can be considered fully justified.

2. Rejection of Regressive Arguments For foundationalists, the only way for a non-foundational belief to be justified is if it is derived from some more basic beliefs that are themselves not derived from any others. This requirement that all justifiers be derived from more basic justifiers is called "regressus ad infinitum". Therefore, any argument that shows that some belief is independent of any others (i.e., not derived from any others) has the potential to show that this belief is fundamental or non-derived.

3. The Regress Argument for Fundamentalism The regress argument was first proposed by David Hume in his Treatise on Human Nature. He argued that because every human belief is based on experience, any such belief must also be based on an even baser one (an impression). But impressions are themselves based on even baser ones (sensations), and so on forever. There is thus no end to the chain of evidence upon which any given belief is founded, and hence no limit to how many additional beliefs one could have before running into a bedrock level of certainty.

What is the alternative to foundationalism?

Aristotle thinks that the alternatives to foundationalism must either accept circular reasoning or result in an indefinite regress of arguments. In an argument by elimination, foundationalism emerges as the clear winner because none of these positions is viable.

Foundationalists argue that we start with some accepted facts about the world and work our way up to other truths by applying our understanding to those facts. There are two problems with this approach. First, it seems that we could never reach any conclusion at all if we started from nothing more than true statements about the world. Second, it's not at all clear what would count as a fact for purposes of starting the process. Is it only those things that happen in reality? Or also truths that we accept for philosophical reasons?

Some philosophers have tried to solve both problems by saying that we can start with anything that has enough truth behind it to make progress. This leads to endless loops of reasoning because new truths can be used to expand our original starting point. For example, if we accept that all bachelors are unmarried men then we can conclude that Socrates is an unmarried man. But this latter statement itself requires another step of inference since it contradicts a popular belief about Pythagoras. Thus, we end up back where we started unless we bring something else into play to break the loop.

What is foundationalism in regards to Descartes' philosophy?

This set's terms (10) What exactly is "foundationalism" in the context of Descartes' philosophy? According to foundationalism, knowledge is ultimately built on ideas that do not require any additional foundation. Knowledge therefore cannot be derived by reasoning from more basic beliefs. Rather, all true knowledge must be accepted as self-evident.

In Descartes' view, knowledge is limited to what can be known with certainty. Because human beings are capable of such knowledge, they must exist and have a powerful intellect. Therefore, humans are capable of understanding God's perfections and nature. Since we cannot doubt our own existence or intelligence, we must accept these truths as self-evident.

Descartes uses the example of a circle to show that certain truths about mathematics are self-evident. It is impossible for us to think of a circle that has no center or of a line that is without end. These propositions are clear and distinct ideas required for mathematical demonstrations so they can be used as the basis for further conclusions.

Descartes also believes that faith alone can provide evidence for some religious propositions. For example, he says that it is clearly evident that God exists since thinking things must exist who could think them. He also says that it is evident that God does not need to reward good deeds because he is perfectly good already.

About Article Author

Edith Campbell

Edith Campbell is a social worker and mental health counselor. She has been working in the field for over 15 years, and she loves it more than anything else in the world. Her goal in life is to help people heal mentally and emotionally so that they can live life again without suffering from any form of psychological disease or disorder.

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