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Foundationalism is not “Modern”

Does anyone seriously wish to make the claim that foundationalism*  built upon propositional** truth was invented only in the last two centuries? Are these not constitutive of normal human mental ability and function? It is true – and who will deny it? – that previous generations have over emphasized the ability of the mind to create systems and decipher all of the secrets of the cosmos and (in theology) of God. As most of us (New Atheists excluded) know, this is impossible. There are limitations to human mind. Rationality will not solve everything. We need some humility – as in physics, so now in metaphysics. However, what we do not need is a full retreat from the pursuit of truth along foundational, propositional lines.

Yes, we may never be able to hit squarely the bull’s eye of “True.” However, in aiming for it, we will likely miss “worse” and strike at “better,” avoiding “worst” altogether. And the effort will have been worth it!

When emptied of foundationalism and propositional truth, one is left only with art and poetry. Although nice as decoration, only a fool would prefer art to science in architecture, in politics, in medicine, in theology.

* Foundationalism: the process of reasoning where you begin with things which are known, then work upwards and outwards to construct a rationally coherent worldview

** Propositional Truth: “Truth which can be communicated in the form of a statement in which a predicate or object is affirmed or denied regarding a subject” (Jack Bartlett)

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