Is 'normative naturalism' an oxymoron?

Philosophical Psychology 5 (3):287 – 297 (1992)
There has been much discussion concerning the consequences of 'going natural', i.e., of replacing a priori epistemology with empirical psychology. Traditionalists claim that a naturalized epistemology is not viable—to eliminate the normative from an account of knowledge is to cease to do epistemology at all. Naturalists claim that a naturalized account is the only viable one—assuming, in step with the urgings of Quine, that there are no standards independent of (and external to) science, science itself must act as the sole epistemic norm. In the wake of the above debate some epistemologists have attempted to argue in favor of, and develop, a middle-ground position— normative naturalism . Such a position is intended to be consistent with the naturalist's intuition that the traditional search for a 'first philosophy'is misguided and consistent with the traditionalist's intuition that a complete elimination of the normative would leave epistemology impotent. In this paper I will examine one argument in favor of a normative naturalism . / will show that such a proposal is inherently problematic and argue that naturalism and normativity are mutually exclusive concepts. Therefore, I suggest that, even in the 'age of cognitive science', epistemologists continue to do traditional epistemology by attempting to develop, a priori , the general criteria for determining the justificatory status of our (scientific) beliefs.
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Ronald N. Giere (1989). Scientific Rationality as Instrumental Rationality. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 20 (3):377-384.

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