Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ayer's Nightmare: The Self-Referential Algorithm of Deception

How can one claim that any of the following theories themselves  are true, when by their own assertions truth is merely the cognitive product of the comprehensively explaining-determining factors that those theories specify?

Is the belief that naturalism is true itself completely determined by natural causes and laws, merely the function of our adjustment as organisms to our environment?

If physical matter is the only reality, how can materialism itself be true, in addition to being merely a physical object or merely a function of physical objects?

Is relativism itself relative?

Is social constructivism itself merely a social construct?

Is subjectivism itself subjective?

Is Marxism itself merely an economically determined set of brain actions?

Is behaviorism itself merely an observable and quantifiable product of environmental conditioning?

Is psychologism itself merely the product of psychological factors?

Is skepticism itself and its challenges and requirements as uncertain and unknowable as all the other items of possible knowledge it denies?

Does empiricism itself have any empirical evidence or sense experience that justifies believing it?

Is existentialism itself unexplainable and absurd?

Is idealism itself a mere mental construct about alleged objects of external perception?

Is logical positivism itself meaningless because it can't be logically analyzed into elementary  tautologies or empirically verifiable statements?

Is pragmatism itself  true, or merely practical? How could anyone know it's practical without the fact of its practicality itself being merely practical and in that way merely repeating the problem of truth beyond sheer practicality?

 Is there a reason why rationalism excludes empirical factors in knowing?

Is utilitarianism itself merely an attempt to be happy, and not even a theory?

Is Quine's holistic naturalized epistemology itself even a theory, when the revisability principle that maintains the hierarchical network of beliefs cannot itself survive its own revision as just another belief in the network?

Does anti-foundationalism treat its own assumptions as having all the characteristics of the grounding assumptions claimed by foundationalism to be irreducibly basic?

Does nominalism use its own assumptions and basic concepts as having all the characteristics of the universals it denies?

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