Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science
Online ISSN : 1884-1228
Print ISSN : 0453-0691
ISSN-L : 0453-0691
The Foundations of Cognitive Relativity
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1991 Volume 8 Issue 1 Pages 23-48


The relativistic theory of natural science proposed here is based on two pillars. The first pilar is the complete denunciation of epistemology on the ground of (1) dissolution of the concept of particular objects, (2) failure of reductionist assumption, (3) failure of causality as a general principle. The second pillar is the necessity of merger of cognitive concepts with phronetic evaluation. (Phronesis here means the decision-making guided by occasion-dependent values). The true mental representaion of the world consists of prelingulal “paradigmatic symbols” which are at the same time “particulars” and “universals” and carry both cognitive message and value estimation. The last chapter on the circularity in the one-way progress of science will explain why, in spite of cognitive relativity, the historical development of science is practically unique and lacks the relativistic, arbitrary choice. The approach used in this paper is not “anti-method”, and is not against analytic philosophy. Any ordinary natural scientist should be able to absorb it. No effort will be made to make compromise with objectivism, nor to go beyond objectivism and relativism.

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