The two faces of Quine's naturalism

Synthese 94 (3):335 - 356 (1993)
Quine's naturalized epistemology is ambivalent between a modest naturalism according to which epistemology is an a posteriori discipline, an integral part of the web of empirical belief, and a scientistic naturalism according to which epistemology is to be conducted wholly within the natural sciences. This ambivalence is encouraged by Quine's ambiguous use of science, to mean sometimes, broadly, our presumed empirical knowledge and sometimes, narrowly, the natural sciences. Quine's modest naturalism is reformist, tackling the traditional epistemological problems in a novel way; his scientistic naturalism is revolutionary, requiring restriction and reconceptualization of epistemological problems. In particular, his scientistic naturalism trivializes the question of the epistemic standing of the natural sciences, whereas modest naturalism takes it seriously, and can offer a plausible answer.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01064484
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References found in this work BETA
Willard V. O. Quine (1951). Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.

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Gregory W. Dawes (2011). In Defense of Naturalism. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (1):3-25.
Alvin I. Goldman (1994). Naturalistic Epistemology and Reliabilism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):301-320.

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