forum 2: week of 16 Jan - Lewis

Fragment of a discussion from Course talk:Phil440A
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I am troubled by Lewis' web of rules as well. I think the troubles comes from his method in trying to achieve his goals of reconciliation. His methods in many ways want to mirror empirical ways people come to acquire knowledge. He largely shuns armchair philosophizing in favor or armchair psychology. This is troubling in two ways. First, he is assuming that people fundamentally have a good way of acquiring beliefs and knowledge, and that he is simple trying to come up with a coherent way of explaining an existing phenomena in much the way same science explains nature. So he is not proposing some grand theory which if adopted by everyone, would magically the quality of knowledge in human society. Second, he is trying to cover too many moving and contradictory parts at the same time, and these forces are pulling his argument apart. This makes his argument arbitrary. He has all these rules which, while superficially rendering these disparate views compatible, do not do much to explains their overall coherence. The lack of overarching thematic narratives makes the whole project lack rhyme and reason. The faux-empiricism and arbitrariness makes Lewis's paper a confounded enigma.

23:56, 20 January 2012