An “Axiological” Epistemology is a Redundancy

Per an axiological epistemology, each value-realization movement requires several epistemic moments, each necessary & none, alone, sufficient. Each epistemic moment is methodologically autonomous in its distinct probe of reality, but, together, they’re all axiologically integral.

For example, one might say that love happens when what’s good frees us to unitively recognize the true and realize the beautiful.

Recapitulated more technically, we could say that unitive goals are met when the normative liberatively mediates between the descriptive & interpretive to effect the evaluative, all of this in our crossing of epistemic distances & overcoming of ontic privations as our speculative & practical reasonings remain integrally intertwined.

In each of these methods, there have been long-standing formalistic tensions. To wit: Unitive goals (agapic vs erotic, rationalism vs fideism vs ignosticism) are met when the normative (absolutist vs relativist) liberatively mediates between the descriptive (essentialist vs nominalist) & interpretive (realist vs idealist) to effect the evaluative (intellectualist vs voluntarist).

Those dyadic tensions, however, represent a caricature of human epistemology, as if we must somehow consider ourselves either infallibilistic, naive realists, on one hand, or radically deconstructive postmodernists, on the other.

What seems to otherwise be going on with our shared common sense & sensibilities, instead, suggests that our unitive goals (Bernardian love per fides et ratio) are met when the normative (moral realism & probabilism) liberatively mediates between the descriptive (semiotic & critical realism) & interpretive (fallibilist realism) to effect the evaluative (intellectualist voluntarism).

We reject, too, therefore, any epistemology that overemphasizes the logical & ethical, while underemphasizing the aesthetic. Indeed, I subscribe to both Scotus’ primacy of the will and Peirce’s aesthetic primacy, wherein aesthetics precede ethics which precede logic. I also buy into Jack Haught’s aesthetic teleology, wherein novelty plays an integral role in amplifying beauty (although I don’t employ his metaphysic). Especially see chapters 8 thru 10 in Haught’s Cosmic Adventure.

Neither Scotus nor Peirce nor Haught flirt with a mere voluntarist approach. They’d all affirm an intellectualist moment even in a spontaneous, human co-creative appropriation of novelty in the pursuit of beauty, as they’d all recognize & affirm how an aesthetic teleology harmonically orders the true, the unitive, the good & the liberative.

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