Pancritical Rationalism (was Re: virus: Incredulity)

David McFadzean (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 20:01:34 -0700

At 02:25 AM 19/03/97 +0000, Tony Hindle wrote:
>>No, I won't concede to having faith in good evidence either. If it
>>turns out that good evidence does not lead to a more accurate
>>understanding (which I don't think is likely, but this is hypothetical)
>>then I will have to give up on good evidence.
> Tell me then, what will you use when you have given up on
>good evidence? and why?

I don't know, it is a hypothetical situation. I would use whatever
turns out to be more effective than good evidence. I'm merely
taking the stance of a pancritical rationalist by refusing to
commit to any position or method. Which isn't to say I don't
provisionally adopt positions or methods. It is just that I'm
always open to the possibility that something more accurate,
useful or otherwise better may come along in the future.

Here's Bartley on pancritical rationalism as quoted in Max More's
excellent article at ...

The new framework permits a rationalist to be characterized
as one who is willing to entertain any position and holds all
his positions, including his most fundamental standards, goals,
and decisions, and his basic philosophical position itself,
open to criticism; one who protects nothing from criticism by
justifying it irrationally; one who never cuts off an argument
by resorting to faith or irrational commitment to justify some
belief that has been under severe critical fire; one who is
committed, attached, addicted, to no position."

I believe PCR fits in well with Virus because of its intrinsic
evolutionary nature.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus