Inquiry and Reality: A Discourse in Pragmatic Synthesis

Inquiry and Reality: A Discourse in Pragmatic Synthesis

Inquiry and Reality: A Discourse in Pragmatic Synthesis

Inquiry and Reality: A Discourse in Pragmatic Synthesis

Excerpt

This essay represents an attempt to develop a systematic philosophy with the ultimate goal of disclosing the significance of man in the universe. In particular, I address myself to two traditional areas of philosophical concern: inquiry and reality. With regard to the former, my thesis is that inquiries, whether scientific or philosophical, have utilized whatever means seemed to investigators likely to be fruitful. While accepting the familiar claim that science is concerned with reality disclosed by sense experience and philosophy with all reality, I hold that science seeks breadth and depth of warranted understanding. This position is argued in order to reconcile the disparate positions of Conant, Kuhn, Hempel, the inductivists, and Popper. It also helps to illuminate the much discussed methods of induction, hypothesis testing, and system construction -- all of which have played a significant role in inquiry.

With regard to reality, my thesis is that my general theory of inquiry provides the rationale for the procedure of "synthesizing" warranted beliefs, beliefs derived from science as well as from different philosophical traditions. I argue that beliefs of first- person experience, common sense, and science imply and therefore warrant propositions employing relational concepts, including those of emergence, potentiality, and internal relations, that have historically tended to distinguish emergentism, Aristotelianism, and absolute idealism. Owing to the coherence and inclusiveness of the resulting position, it effectively vindicates the . . .

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