Implications of Indeterminacy: Naturalism in Epistemology and the Philosophy of Law II [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 30 (4):453-476 (2011)
Abstract
In a circulated but heretofore unpublished 2001 paper, I argued that Leiter’s analogy to Quine’s “naturalization of epistemology” does not do the philosophical work Leiter suggests. I revisit the issues in this new essay. I first show that Leiter’s replies to my arguments fail. Most significantly, if – contrary to the genuinely naturalistic reading of Quine that I advanced – Quine is understood as claiming that we have no vantage point from which to address whether belief in scientific theories is ever justified, it would not help Leiter’s parallel. Given Leiter’s way of drawing the parallel, the analogous position in the legal case would be not the Legal Realists’ indeterminacy thesis, but the very different position that we have no vantage point from which to address whether legal decisions can ever be justified. I then go on to address the more important question of whether the indeterminacy thesis, if true, would support any replacement of important legal philosophical questions with empirical ones. Although Ronald Dworkin has argued against the indeterminacy thesis, if he were wrong on this issue, it would not in any way suggest that the questions with which Dworkin is centrally concerned cannot fruitfully be addressed. The indeterminacy thesis is a bone of contention in an ordinary philosophical debate between its proponents and Dworkin. Of course, if the determinacy thesis were true, no one should try to show that it is false, but this triviality lends no support to the kind of replacement proposal that Leiter proposes. I conclude with some general reflections on naturalism and philosophical methodology
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    View all 23 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Brian Leiter (2009). Naturalizing Jurisprudence. In John R. Shook & Paul Kurtz (eds.), The Future of Naturalism. Humanity Books.
    Christopher R. Hitchcock (1992). Discussion. Journal of Philosophical Research 17:215-223.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-08-19

    Total downloads

    18 ( #78,321 of 1,089,153 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,781 of 1,089,153 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.