18 November 2005

footnote on franke

Leithart reports that at the ETS meeting, Franke cited Nancey Murphy's definition of foundationalism as identifying the sort of foundationalism he is rejecting in his "post-foundationalist" project. That foundationalism is defined as "[1] the assertion that systems include indubitable, unquestioned beliefs that are not subjected to critical scrutiny and [2] the claim that all reasoning moves in one direction, from the indubitable beliefs outward."

Thus, it seems to me, that such a definition is very near to what I earlier defined as "classical foundationalism," though perhaps hovering somewhere between that and a general, narrow foundationalism merely as a theory about the structure of knowing. The clarification is helpful, nonetheless.

It seems to me that almost any theory of knowing that doesn't cling purely to coherentist considerations but wishes to ground knowing in some kind of opening to the reality of the world (even if only a highly mediated opening), can be construed as a foundationalism of some sort. But that's really not saying much. For me, at least, a big part of the question is how we conceive of the event of knowing: whether we posit mind as operating over against "objects" to which it is extrinsically and externally related, or whether the mind and world are somehow teleologically directed one to another, together in their participatory movement towards God.

But that's another topic for another day.