When the linguistic philosophers inspired by Ryle, Wittgenstein and Austin ruled the roost in some universities, notably Oxford, critics sometimes referred to “distinctions that don’t make a difference”. What about the distinction between justificationism and non-justificationism? A critic of Popperism in the Critical Café (email list) was prepared to read widely and he complained that the Popperians were the only people in the world who used this term non-justificationism. He wondered why we should be bothered with it, given that it was not a topic of interest or concern in the wider philosophical world. That was a decade or so ago and the ensuing discussion did so little to change the minds of the critics that some of us have not been back to the Café on a regular basis since that time. I suppose we decided that life is too short to spend a lot of it engaging with people who appear to be completely closed to the ideas of critical rationalism. I will add to this later and I just want to put this ball in play before I go out. The point is to take up a challenge that Bruce and I offered to each other, to be more hospitable to critical visitors to the site and take some time to explain more carefully the things that we have been taking for granted for a long time. Things like non-justicationism, inductivism objective knowledge.
to be continued