A Comparative Study of Foundations and Frameworks in Philosophy and Science
Our knowledge and beliefs, about ourselves and about the world, are situated within our worldviews, ways in which we frame the world in which we find ourselves. Usually, we don’t spend much time reflecting on the nature of the worldviews we carry around with us, nor on the reasons we may have for adopting them. When we do, we can start looking for foundations for our frameworks. When we don’t, discussions in which different views are lurking in the background can easily get stuck if the role of the various worldviews is not analyzed clearly.
Our goal is to elucidate the nature and role of worldviews, within and among different philosophical and scientific systems and, to some extent, within public discourse in general. Traditionally, philosophy has been interested in providing a coherent picture of the world, in a search for a kind of ground or foundation from which other more relative viewpoints can be explained. Such a search for grounding has fallen in disfavor, and attempts to develop an all-encompassing worldview have largely been abandoned.
In our project, we take a different tack, using the method of phenomenology, which concerns itself with laying bare the grounds of the various worldviews. We would like to know what we can say about these in general, without buying into any of them. In other words, we want to critically assess attempts of establishing foundations that are posited as underlying different worldviews.
In general, a search for a foundation quickly runs into hermeneutic circles, not only in philosophy, but in science as well. We illustrate those with references to Kant, Husserl, Nishida, James, and other philosophers, as well as historians and philosophers of science.
1. Yuko Ishihara (2015). The Transcendental Orientation of Sein und Zeit. Genshogaku nenpo, Vol. 31, 11, 1-11.
2. Piet Hut (2003). Life as a Laboratory. Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground, ed. A. Wallace (Columbia University Press), 399-415.