David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (3):245 – 259 (2003)
In this paper I want to suggest that causal and interpretive approaches to epistemology are in tension with one another. Drawing on the work of hermeneutic writers I suggest that epistemological justification is an interpretive process. The possibility of rational justification requires attention to our locatedness within the domain of reasons, into which we have been culturally initiated. The recognition that there is no transcendent processes of rational justification has to be addressed from within this framework and cannot be resolved in a naturalizing way. The turn to hermeneutics in the context of epistemology allows us to reassign a central role to experience within epistemological justification. Here the very features of experience which render problematic its role in empiricist accounts form the basis of its position in hermeneutic ones. This presents us with an immanent conception of rationality, in place of the transcendent conception which so many writers have problematized.
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