The 11 Central Tenets of Liberal Rationalism

The 11 Central Tenets of Liberal Rationalism - 6 The...

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The 11 Central Tenets of Liberal Rationalism (Thomas Spragens, Jr. in Porter-Hallowell, pp. 292-293): 1. The assumptions and methods of the previously dominant Aristotelian-Scholastic tradition are mistaken and must be fundamentally revised or supplanted before genuine “natural philosophy” can be possible. 2. The human understanding, guided by the “natural light” of reason, can be and should be autonomous. Moreover, it constitutes the norm and means by reference to which all else is to be measured. 3. It is possible and necessary to begin the search for knowledge with a clean slate. 4. It is possible and necessary to base knowledge claims on a clear and distinct, indubitable, self-evident foundation. 5. This foundation is to be composed of simple, unambiguous ideas or perceptions.
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Unformatted text preview: 6. The appropriate formal standards for all human knowledge are those of the mathematical modes of inquiry. 7. The key to the progress of human knowledge is the development and pursuit of explicit rules of method. 8. The entire body of valid human knowledge is a unity, both in methods and in substance. 9. Therefore, human knowledge may be made almost wholly accessible to all men, provided only that they not be abnormally be defective in their basic faculties. 10. Genuine knowledge is in some sense certain, “verifiable”, and capable of being made wholly explicit. 11. Knowledge is power, and the increase of knowledge therefore holds the key to human progress. (Classical: knowledge is wisdom, it is virtuous )...
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