2 added 7 characters in body
source | link

What you've uncovered is not a problem for philosophical naturalism in particular, but rather a much more general problem: skepticism, the problem that we may not be able to know anything at all. Skeptics point out that any way we have of justifying knowledge of anything is itself open to criticism, like "But how do you know THAT?" or "Why do you trust THAT?"

The reason this is not a special problem for naturalism is that it equally affects its opposite or counterpart position, supernaturalism. Naturalists attempt to justify knowledge by using (and learning how to be smart about using) personal experience, reasoning, learning from others ("testimony"), scientific reasoning, and other ways. But if those ways of justifying knowledge are open to skeptical challenges — and they are! — then so are supernatural or non-natural strategies for justifying knowledge. Indeed, supernatural strategies may even have MORE difficulty answering skeptics than naturalist ones do.

A smaller point: When you raise the question about circular reasoning, you pose it as if we believe with certainty that the universe follows fixed laws and that logic and reason "work." We don't, or we shouldn't. Rather, we put various DEGREES of confidence in sources of knowledge and ways of justifying knowledge as they turn out to have been reliable in the cases we've applied them to. Knowledge acquired by listening to a drunk person has been less reliable than knowledge acquired through first-hand experience while sober, and knowledge acquired from the experiences of many different people under different circumstances has turned out to be more reliable than just one person's. This may not eliminate all the ways a degree of trust in one thing depends on a degree of trust in another, but undermines the particular circle you worry about: We don't believe the universe certainly follows fixed laws, and we don't use that to conclude that science must be certainly true.

What you've uncovered is not a problem for philosophical naturalism in particular, but rather a much more general problem: skepticism, the problem that we may not be able to know anything at all. Skeptics point out that any way we have of justifying knowledge of anything is open to criticism, like "But how do you know THAT?" or "Why do you trust THAT?"

The reason this is not a special problem for naturalism is that it equally affects its opposite or counterpart position, supernaturalism. Naturalists attempt to justify knowledge by using (and learning how to be smart about using) personal experience, reasoning, learning from others ("testimony"), scientific reasoning, and other ways. But if those ways of justifying knowledge are open to skeptical challenges — and they are! — then so are supernatural or non-natural strategies for justifying knowledge. Indeed, supernatural strategies may even have MORE difficulty answering skeptics than naturalist ones do.

A smaller point: When you raise the question about circular reasoning, you pose it as if we believe with certainty that the universe follows fixed laws and that logic and reason "work." We don't, or we shouldn't. Rather, we put various DEGREES of confidence in sources of knowledge and ways of justifying knowledge as they turn out to have been reliable in the cases we've applied them to. Knowledge acquired by listening to a drunk person has been less reliable than knowledge acquired through first-hand experience while sober, and knowledge acquired from the experiences of many different people under different circumstances has turned out to be more reliable than just one person's. This may not eliminate all the ways a degree of trust in one thing depends on a degree of trust in another, but undermines the particular circle you worry about: We don't believe the universe certainly follows fixed laws, and we don't use that to conclude that science must be certainly true.

What you've uncovered is not a problem for philosophical naturalism in particular, but rather a much more general problem: skepticism, the problem that we may not be able to know anything at all. Skeptics point out that any way we have of justifying knowledge of anything is itself open to criticism, like "But how do you know THAT?" or "Why do you trust THAT?"

The reason this is not a special problem for naturalism is that it equally affects its opposite or counterpart position, supernaturalism. Naturalists attempt to justify knowledge by using (and learning how to be smart about using) personal experience, reasoning, learning from others ("testimony"), scientific reasoning, and other ways. But if those ways of justifying knowledge are open to skeptical challenges — and they are! — then so are supernatural or non-natural strategies for justifying knowledge. Indeed, supernatural strategies may even have MORE difficulty answering skeptics than naturalist ones do.

A smaller point: When you raise the question about circular reasoning, you pose it as if we believe with certainty that the universe follows fixed laws and that logic and reason "work." We don't, or we shouldn't. Rather, we put various DEGREES of confidence in sources of knowledge and ways of justifying knowledge as they turn out to have been reliable in the cases we've applied them to. Knowledge acquired by listening to a drunk person has been less reliable than knowledge acquired through first-hand experience while sober, and knowledge acquired from the experiences of many different people under different circumstances has turned out to be more reliable than just one person's. This may not eliminate all the ways a degree of trust in one thing depends on a degree of trust in another, but undermines the particular circle you worry about: We don't believe the universe certainly follows fixed laws, and we don't use that to conclude that science must be certainly true.

1
source | link

What you've uncovered is not a problem for philosophical naturalism in particular, but rather a much more general problem: skepticism, the problem that we may not be able to know anything at all. Skeptics point out that any way we have of justifying knowledge of anything is open to criticism, like "But how do you know THAT?" or "Why do you trust THAT?"

The reason this is not a special problem for naturalism is that it equally affects its opposite or counterpart position, supernaturalism. Naturalists attempt to justify knowledge by using (and learning how to be smart about using) personal experience, reasoning, learning from others ("testimony"), scientific reasoning, and other ways. But if those ways of justifying knowledge are open to skeptical challenges — and they are! — then so are supernatural or non-natural strategies for justifying knowledge. Indeed, supernatural strategies may even have MORE difficulty answering skeptics than naturalist ones do.

A smaller point: When you raise the question about circular reasoning, you pose it as if we believe with certainty that the universe follows fixed laws and that logic and reason "work." We don't, or we shouldn't. Rather, we put various DEGREES of confidence in sources of knowledge and ways of justifying knowledge as they turn out to have been reliable in the cases we've applied them to. Knowledge acquired by listening to a drunk person has been less reliable than knowledge acquired through first-hand experience while sober, and knowledge acquired from the experiences of many different people under different circumstances has turned out to be more reliable than just one person's. This may not eliminate all the ways a degree of trust in one thing depends on a degree of trust in another, but undermines the particular circle you worry about: We don't believe the universe certainly follows fixed laws, and we don't use that to conclude that science must be certainly true.