Miller's Defence of Bartley's Pancritical Rationalism
Cintora (Armando)
Source: Sorites 15, December 2004: 50-55
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. W. W. Bartley argued that Popper’s original theory of rationality (1945) opened itself to a tu quoque argument from the irrationalist and to avoid this Bartley proposed an alternative theory of rationality: pancritical rationalism (PCR). Bartley’s characterization of PCR leads, however, to self-referential paradox.
  2. David Miller (1994) outlaws self-reference (and in this way he avoids PCR’s paradoxical nature) by distinguishing between positions and statements, Miller’s distinction looks, however, suspiciously like an ad hoc manoeuvre or as a stipulation that has to be accepted dogmatically.
  3. Furthermore, Miller’s move is inadequate because it is a second world answer (i. e., it involves attitudes or thoughts) to a third world problem, that is, to logical paradox.
  4. It is then argued that given the paradoxical nature of PCR, Popper’s old justificationist critical rationalism with its minimum of dogmatism and irrationalism is malgré tout a better option.

Comment:

Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 15

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