Daniel Fincke of Camels with Hammers responds to some noise I had been making in the comments of an old post of his. In a nutshell, I was contending that Hume's Problem of Induction could only be resolved via an epistemological leap of faith, and so thus an iota of actual "faith" was necessary for even an atheistic worldview -- though of course all beliefs beyond that can remain properly tentative.
Daniel quite accurately points out that my argument, which seeks to characterize as circular any and all attempts at reasoning one's way out of the Problem of Induction, is itself circular reasoning. Well I'll be damned, indeed it is.
I still maintain that the Problem of Induction is fundamentally intractable, and thus needs to be hand-waved rather than attacked with reason. Frankly, I think Daniel's point actually reinforces this position rather than diminishing it, at least from a pragmatic standpoint. To wit: I had attempted to show that no epistemology can claim to be rooted entirely on reason without first taking the validity of inductive reasoning on faith. Daniel points out that my attempt to do so fails without somehow presupposing the validity of inductive reasoning. This undermines my attempts to assert that inductive reasoning must be accepted on faith, but it accomplishes this by (IMO) effectively demolishing any attempt to say something about the epistemology of inductive reasoning and still maintain firm philosophical footing.
Daniel has not (yet) shown that faith is not required in order to accept inductive reasoning, he has so far only shown that I can't prove that it is required. I look forward to his promised follow-up post where he intends to describe "a way that inductive reasoning might be understood to be...virtuously circular" (emph. in original). Good stuff!
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