Thursday, March 1, 2012

Epistemic Skepticism - Constructing a Sound Worldview

It is of critical importance to philosophy (as to all thought) to ensure that one's reasons for believing as one does are as strong as they can possibly be. Everyone who has any concerns about the foundations of their beliefs should go through a similar exercise at some point and to some degree, and should review their assumptions periodically. Although people might come to correct conclusions based on shaky underlying premises, unless they have thoroughly examined those premises, they have no basis upon which to be certain that their conclusions are correct.

In my previous posts, I've spent a lot of words talking about what I don't believe in. Going forward I put myself out on a limb, and start talking about what I do.

This essay introduces my series on how a sound worldview can be constructed from first principles, hopefully without engaging in assumptions that I haven't carefully considered and explained beforehand. The goal of this series is to construct a well-grounded epistemological worldview upon the strongest possible bases, and to explain each step as I go.

As such, I've worked out the following steps or categories in order to understand (at least to myself) and explain (hopefully to you) the bases of what I am willing to invest belief in, as well as why.

1. Approach

The ground rules governing my method, the position from where I will begin, and restrictions I place upon myself in going forward.

2. Existence

What is and is not to be considered a priori, as well as what that means; the grounds of being.

3. Induction

Dealing with the experiential reality that is presented to me; likelihood and probability in utility and prediction.

4. Deduction

A tour of various types of definition-sets, how given propositions fit into them, and how those definition-sets may apply to the experiential reality that is presented to me

5. Objective

The theory that there is an extended, independent world of which I am a part. Methods of determining likelihood of belief within such a world.


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