Rational Theory Choice and Religious Traditionalism

Jay's Analysis

Philo Sophia Philo Sophia

By: Jay Dyer

A major problem for the philosophy of science and religious traditions is the question of observational neutrality and rational theory choice.  Can one’s observations be independent of an entire theory or paradigm?  Can there be a rational choice made between theories, paradigms and religious traditions?  The question is answered variously by relativists, objectivists, pragmatists and realists.  My thesis is to offer a possible idea that might point towards an answer.

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,Thomas Kuhn outlines the pragmatist approach to the question of theory choice succinctly, giving several examples why he believes rational theory choice is not possible.  The book has since become famous as an example of paradigm or worldview analysis as it relates to the question of scientific methodology and principles.  Initially, Kuhn argues that the transformation of a prevalent theory choice is like a revolution: “These transformations of the paradigms of…

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