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Objectivism: Dual Foundationalism
and the Core of Objectivist Logic


General Statement: The Purpose of this ordered, thematic collection is to make available to adherents of Objectivism (whatever their allegiance may be) an important development in the Objectivist Theory of Logic. In essence, what follows is a summary of the foundations of the Objectivist Theory of Logic as it is grounded in epistemic norms. I believe it will help to explain the manner in which Objectivism avoids classification as either a form of empiricism (although it regards all knowledge as empirical), and at the same time, avoids classification as a form of rationalism (despite the central role it grants metaphysics in its theory of knowledge). I will try to add to it over time.

In his article "Evidence of Necessary Existence" (Objectivity, Volume 1, Number 4, 1996), Dr. Tibor Machan briefly mentions the fact that Objectivism requires not one, but two foundations for knowledge and justification. On this point, I find myself in substantial agreement with Dr. Machan: I have been aware of the fact that "Dual Foundationalism" is integral to Objectivism as far back as the spring of 1991. This view is implicit in Dr. Leonard Peikoff's taped lecture series "Objectivism: The State of the Art." In this series, Dr. Peikoff recognized the need for two complementary methods in Objectivist Logic: reduction (to the perceptual level) and integration (of one's knowledge into a totality). Reduction, as such, requires an empirical foundation for knowledge, and integration both gives rise to and requires a metaphysical foundation.

However, the name "Dual Foundationalism" should not be understood to simply refer to the view that knowledge requires two foundations. The theory of Dual Foundationalism refers to the fact that these two foundations are interdependent, or to state this fact another way, that they are complementary. But for this complementarity to exist, there must be one additional form of complementarity: between the material (concepts, propositions, and theories of Objectivism) and the method of Objectivism. And as essential to the method of Objectivism, I name twelve central epistemic norms which identify what man should do in the realm of cognition in order to achieve knowledge, and their order of appearance in the foundations for Objectivist logic.

In the material which will follow, I will be introducing the central ideas of Dual Foundationalism, and then tracing out the implications of this view in the hope of providing the Objectivist Movement with an indispensible tool.

The Basic Idea Behind Dual Foundationalism
The Basis for Epistemic Normativity/ Notes
A Distinction Regarding Justification
The Nature of Epistemic Norms
The Core of Objectivist Logic
Reference Tables

Do you have questions, comments, or criticisms regarding the theory of Dual Foundationalism?Let your views be known! Post a message at The Dual Foundationalist message board!

General Index


©1996 by Timothy D. Chase. All rights reserved.

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