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Can the basic principles of rationality be defended rationally?

Cintora Gomez, Armando (2002) Can the basic principles of rationality be defended rationally? PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

It is argued that if theories of rationality are to avoid logical difficulties (i.e., self referential inconsistencies or logical paradoxes), then these theories require a minimal dogmatism, that is, some basic presuppositions that are unjustifiable without intuitions, vicious circularity, or infinite regress. Thus, it is argued that if rationality is characterized as the search for justifications then a comprehensive rationality is in the end an impossible and self -contradictory task; while if rationality is characterized by the criticizability of any position, then a rationality that intends to be comprehensive leads to self-referential logical paradox. It is also argued that there are logical limits to the justifiability of the most basic scientific methodological rules and aims, that is, it is argued that to justify our various scientific methods and aims we are required to assume without a bona fide justification (i.e., dogmatically) some basic cognitive methods and goals. These conclusions are illustrated by exploring the theories of rationality of the Popperian tradition and the theories of scientific method of various naturalised scientific meta-methodologies, in particular, by critically examining the alleged justification of our scientific methods provided by 'evolutionary epistemology' and Laudan's normative naturalism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1637

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