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2009-04-29
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
What are the most important works in epistemology (mainly theory of knowledge and perception, but other things too) in the first half of the 20th century?  It seems to me a lot easier to get a fix on the big works from 1950 onwards, but aside from a handful of books and articles, it's not clear to me what was important and influential before 1950.

What I've got tallied up so far:
Moore's major articles
Russell's works: The Problems of Philosophy, Our Knowledge of the External World, The Analysis of Mind
Ayer: LT&L, The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge
Price: Perception
Lewis: Mind and the World-Order

Beyond that I haven't the foggiest, and in browsing old journal articles they don't seem to reference too many works beyond those (this is a subjective impression, of course, and probably anglo-centric).

What else needs to be listed for a fairly robust understanding of early 20th century epistemology?  Does Broad do much epistemology in The Mind and Its Place In Nature?  Maybe something from Carnap or Schlick?

2009-05-02
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Perhaps one place to begin looking is Chisholm's overview paper, "Theory of Knowledge in America". See pages 109-193 in his Foundations of Knowing (1982). Though Chisholm's study begins in the late-20s, it gives some sense of what's going on during the period in question

2009-05-04
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Hi Kyle,

I would say Popper's 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery,' published in German in 1934, though not published in English until 1959. He offers a radically different conception of the subject in that he sees knowledge as social, inherently fallbile, completley unjustifiable but testable, and empirical though irremediably theory-laden. In my view, he revolutionised epistemology; but few people seem to have noticed.

Danny

2009-05-04
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Some items to list:
Rudolf Carnap, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”, Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4 (1950):

C I Lewis, "The Pragmatic Element in Knowledge" University of California Publications in Philosophy,
Vol. 6, (1926)

C I Lewis, "A Pragmatic Conception of the A Priori", The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. XX, No. 7,
March 1923. pp. 169-177

C I Lewis, "Experience and Meaning", The Philosophical Review, Vol. XLIII (1934),
No. 2, pp. 125-146

C. I Lewis, Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation, (The Paul Carus Lectures, Series 8, 1946) Open Court, La Salle, 1946.   -- this was the most discussed book on epistemology for the next few years and was central -- in a negative sort of way -- in organizing opposition to and finaly the death of sensedatum theory

Wilfrid Sellars, "Pure Pragmatics and Epistemology," Philosophy of Science, Vol. 14, No. 3. (Jul., 1947), pp. 181-202

Wilfrid Sellars, "Realism and the New Way of Words," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 8, No. 4. (Jun., 1948), pp. 601-634.

Wilfrid Sellars, "Inference and Meaning," Mind 62 (1953): 313-38. (out of range but...

Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," The Philosophical Review 60: 20-43 (1951) OK its out of the range!
 H A Pritchard, Knowledge and Perception, Oxford Clarendon 1950

Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind 1949, Hutchinson

HH Price Various things on perception 1932 Perception to 1953 Thinking and Experience

Two remarks. First 1950 is such a terrible cuttoff.  After C.I. Lewis published AKV, the currents all went against certainty based foundationalism -- think of Sellars, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Ryle -- all of whom dominated the early 50's and transformed epistemology so that by the mid sixties third person, fallibalist, causalist views had swept the Russell/Lewis sort of view almost entirely away.
Second,  The other thing whichg happened is that analytic philosophy became much narrower  avter the "linguistic turn", so that Pragmatism and continental strands of epistemoilogy which until that time had been in close conversation with analysis, dropped off the table. The idea that knowledge is experience rather than a proipositional attitude became very unpopular

2009-06-05
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Hi Kyle

Can I ask a more specific question. What epistemology was going on in the years just prior to Russell's Human Knowledge that made him think that knowledge was justified true belief? In other words, what made him provide the stopped clock counterexample if the early moderns were infallibilists about knowledge? Who before Russell thought that the JTB account of knowledge was true?

Dani  

2009-06-09
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Following up on this reminder of the philosophy of science, it is worth remembering that Broad also wrote Scientific Thought, and that there was a flourishing discussion about scientific knowledge elsewhere - all the Vienna circle, Reichenbach, Cassirer, etc.  Also Campbell in England.  But I think even then this was pretty separate from general theory of knowledge.
Ed Brandon

2009-06-27
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
In addition to the stuff from Lewis you might want to add William James's Pragmatism (1907) and The Meaning of Truth (1909) and,

John Dewey's Experience and Nature (1925) and The Quest for Certainty (1929).

2009-06-27
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Taking epistemology to include the theory of inquiry, or how we come to know, let me second that vote for Dewey's Quest for Certainty and add his How We Think (1910) and Logic : The Theory of Inquiry (1938).


2010-03-15
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Hello, I look for the paper by Michael Williams:

Why (Wittgensteinian) Contextualism Is Not Relativism

Does s.o. on that forum has got a copy and could send it to me?

Best regards
N.

2010-03-16
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Like E. Dayton I would add Pritchard's Knowledge and Perception (published in 1950, but based on earlier lectures).

Pritchard's view is inspired by Cook Wilson, Statement and Inference, published posthumously in 1928.

Woozley's Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 1949, is perhaps not so influential but gives a good idea of what was on the mind of Oxford epistemologists in the late 40s. It anticipates Ayer's attack on Pritchard's mental state view in his 1952.

2010-03-22
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950

With regards to the general abolition of the synthetic apriori in confluence with the post-Euclidean delimitation of maximally comprehensive sythetic definitions under terrestrial conditions, my picks are Hans Reichenbach, paired up with the Dutch "intuitionists" Brouwer and Heyting.  The tendency there is to get epistemology back out in front of accelleration in the so-called "hard" sciences, so that epistemic grounds derive non-accidentally from the independent results of research and the general principle of induction. 


2010-03-24
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
What about George Santayana? His Skepticism and Animal Faith (1923) is a good start.

2010-04-05
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Carnap's Der Logische Aufbau der Welt is clearly influential for both the Vienna Circle and for Quine/Goodman.

2010-04-05
Essential Epistemology: 1900-1950
Perception: Perhaps one should look at the tradition(s) classified as "Critical Realism". E.g. Roy Wood Sellars in America and C. D. Broad in Britain. Broad is often mentioned by Price and Ayer, and occasionally by Chisholm and Wilfrid Sellars; after 1960 he seems more or less forgotten. I haven't read anything, but it seems Scientific Thought is as relevant as is Mind and its Place.

Logical empiricism again: Davidson's "Empirical Content" contains many references to the debate about so-called "protocol sentences" in articles of Schlick, Neurath, and Hempel. They are collected in Ayer's Logical Positivism. Davidson's article isn't just historical, so I don't know how accurate it is. But Ayer's book is still in print. I don't know how representative logical empiricism was, either. Probably it was more influential the decades after 1950 than before. Carnap's Logische Syntax, by the way, was published 1934 and translated as early as 1937.