By Richard A. Fumerton
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Extra info for Metaphysical and Epistemological Problems of Perception
Note that 1 did not state the different-level meaning rule: Use "alpha" if and only if alpha. This would imply that the dispositions one has that constitute understanding the expression are dispositions to actually say certain things under certain conditions. Such a behavioristic analysis of understanding would encounter all the usual objections to behaviorism. What 1 would or would not say in any given situation is a function of all kinds of things (e. , my honesty, my interest in communicating with others, my love of irony).
We feel no more satisfied with his answer than had he greeted our original request with silence and a knowing wink. Now, to be fair, the idea behind moving away from foundations to coherence is a little more sophisticated than a straightforward endorsement of circular reasoning. When we attempt to justify a belief by showing its coherence with other beliefs, we never appeal directly to P as the sole support of itself (as in the example above). We try to justify P by appealing to the way it coheres with Q, R, S, and T.
Unfortunately for the psychophysiologist, this is simply not so. The psychophysical story of perception can be discovered only by employing the empirical methods of science. Methodological Presuppositions Assuming I have succeeded in making clear the epistemological and metaphysical questions that are to be answered in the remainder of this book, we should decide some preliminary matters concerning the connection between the two kinds of questions and the methodological presuppositions we should follow in trying to answer these questions.
Metaphysical and Epistemological Problems of Perception by Richard A. Fumerton