In my first note of this series, I discussed justification for what I’ve been calling “global synthesis” in philosophical method. In this note, I consider a few potential problems for such a system and offer some responses. I also consider global synthesis more broadly as something that might go beyond philosophy and help us think about constructing the norms and values that guide our lives more generally.
Part of the idea behind the “global synthesis” I have been discussing is the creation of intuitions that are representative of a wide swath of human cultural experience. In the first entry, I spoke specifically about global synthesis in philosophy, but in this note I consider it more broadly in terms of cultural intellectual foundations. A common refrain from those who reject the need for “diversity” in philosophy or other areas of intellectual pursuit is that diversity in methodology is ultimately counterproductive. Such people claim that we have in modern Western science, culture, and life, the tools for attaining truth, and to admit other conceptions of the world into our worldview will just wreck this successful project. The modern scientific project is objectively the most useful one, the objection goes, and rethinking the foundations of our intellectual projects will inevitably lead us backward. There are a number of problems with this view, only a few of which I will discuss here.