I finally had that click when I realized that the debate could be about Hume and Kant. Hume’s critique of induction shows we can’t know causation, and Kant answers that there are “transcendental truths” we can learn by applying certain concepts. The Humean believes that there is no difference between causation and justification, while the Kantian believes that there is. I think this explains the differences between Brian and Daniel’s view from the pragmatic view. Brian certainly thinks that science can fully explain causation, especially in a material universe, and Daniel is a huge Kantian in that he thinks there can be a moral philosophy that can be both normative and positive. But, pragmatists would never make such a claim. Rorty, for example, thinks that moral claims are only useful descriptions of how people do act, rather than claims that would force a rational being to act in a certain way. Kuhn thinks that science never finds causation, but rather various justifications. The pragmatist thinks that our descriptions help us cope in various ways with the way material objects interact, and CTT subscribers believe that they can actually figure out which specific causal rules apply on an instrumental, theoretical level. The pragmatist thinks that concepts have only pragmatic level–they can only be justified. The CTT subscriber thinks that a theoretical description of ethics, metaphysics, science, and other subjects, can arrive at the way that things in and of themselves are.
My “click” for Pragmatism