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From Foundations To Spirals

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Chapter Summary

Feyerabend's challenge to foundational notions within natural science is at their genesis unlikely to worry theological scientists, for they are rooted in criticisms of logical positivist notions of theory and observation. In fact as we uncover the hermeneutical circles which lie within all acts of human understanding, the increased consonance of scientific method over the fields of natural and theological science is revealed, and the Enlightenment privileges accrued to the former are radically scrutinised. For Torrance there is the possibility of some sort of foundational representation of knowledge, employing a fluid axiomatics, though if viewed through the lens of Enlightenment concerns it may bear the appearance of circularity, or at least an iterative and fluid spiral. Reductive components of Enlightenment foundationalism, the primacy of empirical data and deductive techniques, are refashioned by Torrance into a new shape which steers a moderate path between inherited structures and Feyerabend's radical critique.

Keywords: enlightenment foundationalism; Feyerabend; fluid axioms; iterations; reductionism; spirals; Torrance



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