Foundationalism Rebutted, part one.

One of the epistemologies of modernity is foundationalism. W. Jay Wood helpfully states (but does not endorse) the strong foundationalist position: “If one starts with self-evidently true starting points and accepts what can only be validly derived from the same, one thereby ensures that one’s entire set of beliefs is untainted and error-free.” Given the foundationalist’s demand about self-evident propositions forming basic beliefs, no one has more helpfully-exposed the faults in this reasoning than Nicholas Wolterstorff in Reason within the Bounds of Religion. Wolterstorff states, “Even if there is a set of foundational propositions, no one has yet succeeded in stating what relation the theories that we are warranted in accepting or rejecting bear to the members of the community.20” As John Frame has stated, starting with abstract self-verifying laws of logic do not tell us much. The only thing that can come from the laws of logic is more laws of logic. Foundationalism can give us nice starting points, but these points do not take us anywhere.

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20 comments on “Foundationalism Rebutted, part one.

  1. James Dean says:

    Hello, I was you post on Energetic procession where you said:”I noticed that Catholics really didn’t quote the Fathers on the Papacy whenever they debate EOx.”You also said that you’re still evaluating EOxJust wanted to offer you this list of Patristic quotes from this site:Eastern Papal FlorigeliumPlease read the entire thing and decided for yourself, and let me know what you think.

  2. James Dean says:

    Hello, I was you post on Energetic procession where you said:"I noticed that Catholics really didn’t quote the Fathers on the Papacy whenever they debate EOx."You also said that you're still evaluating EOxJust wanted to offer you this list of Patristic quotes from this site:Eastern Papal FlorigeliumPlease read the entire thing and decided for yourself, and let me know what you think.

  3. Yeah, I’ve read most of these quotes before. You seem to be equating papal supremacy with papal primacy. I have no problem papal primacy. But my comment meant something like, “It’s hard to reconcile a lot of Newman’s stuff, to the degree that Newman’s development of doctrine accurately represents Catholic thought, with the fact that the faith was once for all handed down to the saints. However, I did find this quote interesting,”A third aspect to consider is this: Outside of the Bishop of Rome, of whom else was it ever said, “Peter has spoken through him!”?”I think it was at Chalcedon, after the Tome of Leo was read, where they said, “Peter has spoken through Leo,” and then it says (often left out in history books), “Because Leo agrees with Cyril.”We could throw quotes back and forth at each other (similar to how Protestants go bible-verse shopping). But thanks for the link, while I disagree with the reasoning there, it is a valuable resource.Peace.

  4. Yeah, I've read most of these quotes before. You seem to be equating papal supremacy with papal primacy. I have no problem papal primacy. But my comment meant something like, "It's hard to reconcile a lot of Newman's stuff, to the degree that Newman's development of doctrine accurately represents Catholic thought, with the fact that the faith was once for all handed down to the saints. However, I did find this quote interesting,"A third aspect to consider is this: Outside of the Bishop of Rome, of whom else was it ever said, "Peter has spoken through him!"?"I think it was at Chalcedon, after the Tome of Leo was read, where they said, "Peter has spoken through Leo," and then it says (often left out in history books), "Because Leo agrees with Cyril."We could throw quotes back and forth at each other (similar to how Protestants go bible-verse shopping). But thanks for the link, while I disagree with the reasoning there, it is a valuable resource.Peace.

  5. James Dean says:

    not sure what you mean by “you seem to be equating Papal primacy with Papal Supremacy.”You said that Catholic don’t quote the Church fathers, and i linked for you a whole bunch of quotes from the Church Fathers that Catholic use.As far as primacy vs supremacy. I’ll leave that up to you to decide, only noting that the art of self-deception is something we all have to watch out for.

  6. James Dean says:

    not sure what you mean by "you seem to be equating Papal primacy with Papal Supremacy."You said that Catholic don't quote the Church fathers, and i linked for you a whole bunch of quotes from the Church Fathers that Catholic use.As far as primacy vs supremacy. I'll leave that up to you to decide, only noting that the art of self-deception is something we all have to watch out for.

  7. okay, fair enough. I retract that particular statement. Primacy means I honor the bishop of Rome because he is first among equals. Supremacy means reading Vatican I (and other medieval statements) back into early church history.As to self-deception, I suppose we are all liable to that, but I guess I can just as easily accuse you of self-deception as well, even though I don’t know anything about you. But that’s not the best way to do theology.

  8. okay, fair enough. I retract that particular statement. Primacy means I honor the bishop of Rome because he is first among equals. Supremacy means reading Vatican I (and other medieval statements) back into early church history.As to self-deception, I suppose we are all liable to that, but I guess I can just as easily accuse you of self-deception as well, even though I don't know anything about you. But that's not the best way to do theology.

  9. (Darlene had tried to comment, and I accidentally pressed the delete button; i found the comment on my email, so here it is)LoG,You said, “As to self-deception, I suppose we are all liable to that, but I quess I can just as easily accuse you of self-deception as well,”Great point! Numerous religious groups accuse one another of said deception. I once did the same. I find such implicit warnings to be a conversation stopper. Come to think of it, when I employed such a technique in the past, it closed off the conversation rather quickly. :)You also continued, “even though I don’t know anything about you. But that’s not the best way to do theology.”I find it puzzling and perplexing that a person who communicates with another in cyberspace for a brief amount of time can warn another of deception. What ever happened to actually getting to KNOW someone before making stern suggestions regarding a persons’ beliefs? I recall the time that a particular Calvinist warned me of abandoning the Gospel, having only a very limited knowledge of me, and almost no interaction whatsoever. That seems to be the MO of many “Reformed” blogs. Seems such things are common in the religious sphere of the Internet these days. Sadder yet, are those who think they are evangelizing when taken to this kind of behavior.

  10. (Darlene had tried to comment, and I accidentally pressed the delete button; i found the comment on my email, so here it is)LoG,You said, "As to self-deception, I suppose we are all liable to that, but I quess I can just as easily accuse you of self-deception as well,"Great point! Numerous religious groups accuse one another of said deception. I once did the same. I find such implicit warnings to be a conversation stopper. Come to think of it, when I employed such a technique in the past, it closed off the conversation rather quickly. :)You also continued, "even though I don't know anything about you. But that's not the best way to do theology."I find it puzzling and perplexing that a person who communicates with another in cyberspace for a brief amount of time can warn another of deception. What ever happened to actually getting to KNOW someone before making stern suggestions regarding a persons' beliefs? I recall the time that a particular Calvinist warned me of abandoning the Gospel, having only a very limited knowledge of me, and almost no interaction whatsoever. That seems to be the MO of many "Reformed" blogs. Seems such things are common in the religious sphere of the Internet these days. Sadder yet, are those who think they are evangelizing when taken to this kind of behavior.

  11. Wait, wasn’t Cyril Pope?

  12. Wait, wasn't Cyril Pope?

  13. I had forgotten about that. McGuckin has a discussion on this, but it’s been a while since I’ve read him.

  14. I had forgotten about that. McGuckin has a discussion on this, but it's been a while since I've read him.

  15. Oh, that was just a silly play on words. He was bishop of Alexandria. But the Bishop of Alexandria is the other bishop called Pope.

  16. Oh, that was just a silly play on words. He was bishop of Alexandria. But the Bishop of Alexandria is the other bishop called Pope.

  17. James Dean says:

    Hello, Jacob . I posted what i thought was a benign, if beneficial counsel paraphrasing what the Catholic mystic Fr. Merton termed “self-deception.” In retrospect, my post looked like an accusation rather than the friendly advice it was intended as. I’m sorry this offense against you and against charity. Lets us start over again.Peace.

  18. James Dean says:

    Hello, Jacob . I posted what i thought was a benign, if beneficial counsel paraphrasing what the Catholic mystic Fr. Merton termed "self-deception." In retrospect, my post looked like an accusation rather than the friendly advice it was intended as. I'm sorry this offense against you and against charity. Lets us start over again.Peace.

  19. That’s cool, James. The internet is a poor medium for tone, inflection, and intention in communication. In any case, I understand what you are saying. I originally got interested in Orthodoxy because I was looking for non-Protestant critiques of papal infallibility. Oops! I have considered Catholicism, albeit not as intensely. I’ve read about 700 pages of Aquinas, several thousand pages of Augustine, Etienne Gilson, de Lubac, and von Balthasar–and I like all of these guys. While I think there are problems in Roman historiography, I no longer believe the case is as “clear shut” against Rome as I did a year ago.

  20. That's cool, James. The internet is a poor medium for tone, inflection, and intention in communication. In any case, I understand what you are saying. I originally got interested in Orthodoxy because I was looking for non-Protestant critiques of papal infallibility. Oops! I have considered Catholicism, albeit not as intensely. I've read about 700 pages of Aquinas, several thousand pages of Augustine, Etienne Gilson, de Lubac, and von Balthasar–and I like all of these guys. While I think there are problems in Roman historiography, I no longer believe the case is as "clear shut" against Rome as I did a year ago.

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