File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2001/bhaskar.0104, message 19


Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 04:13:47 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: Terms of Jugement (call for help)


Hi Erik,

"epistemic relativism" and "judgemental rationalism" are imo key
concepts in Bhaskar's theory of science and are basically assumed
and further elaborated thoughout the whole oeuvre; the way i see
them things is as follows:

- with epistemic relativism Bhaskar is arguing that all knowledge
  (meaning, theory, science etc.) is socially (geo-historically)
  produced and transient, it is in principle fallible, and thus
  belonging to the transitive domain of reality;

- judgemental rationalism is entailing the claim that the only 'good
  grounds' for preferring one theory over another are 'rational' ones;
  thus if one theory can explain (and hypothesize) more significant
  phenomena in terms of its descriptions than the other can in terms
  of its, then there is a rational criterion for theory choice, and a
  fortiori a positive sense to the idea of scientific development over
  time. (cf. RTS)

you might want to check also PE (esp. Ch. 3) where Bhaskar tries
to show how epistemic relativism is consistent with judgemental
rationalism, e.g.:

" .... The first step is to think the constellational identity of the
possibility of judgemental rationality (in the intrinsic aspect) within
the actuality of epistemic relativity (in the transitive dimension)
within the necessity forontological realism in the intransitive
dimension. ..." [PE:218]

yours,
Jan




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