Philosophy and its Epistemic Neuroses

Westview Press (2000)
Philosophers have often thought that concepts such as ”knowledge” and ”truth” are appropriate objects for theoretical investigation. In a discussion which ranges widely over recent analytical philosophy and radical theory, Philosophy and Its Epistemic Neuroses takes issue with this assumption, arguing that such theoreticism is not the solution but the source of traditional problems in epistemology (How can we have knowledge of the world around us? How can we have knowledge of other minds and cultures? How can we have knowledge of ourselves?) and in the philosophy of language (How can we know what our words refer to?).The author draws on Wittgenstein and recent neo-pragmatists (Putnam, Rorty, Davidson, Williams) to argue that analytical philosophy and radical theory alike stand in an ambivalent relationship with skepticism, which issues forth in varieties of ”epistemic neuroses” - manifested most clearly in the cases of metaphysical realism, relativism and causal theories of reference. Each of these projects is defined in terms possibilities that conflict with its own chances of cognitive success. Hymers explains not only the mainstream analytical philosophy of such figures as Devitt, Quine and Burge, but also structuralism (Althusser, Lacan), feminist theory (Seller, MacKinnon, Lugones) and critical theory (Marcuse), in an attempt to outline a therapeutic alternative to philosophical theoreticism.
Keywords Skepticism  Knowledge, Theory of
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Call number BD201.H95 2000
ISBN(s) 0813391377  
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