David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 59 (3):333 - 349 (1990)
Epistemology plays an indisputably normative role in our affairs; it is this which is commonly argued to prevent epistemology's being naturalized. I propose a descriptivist account of epistemology. Epistemic judgments, concepts, and properties are essentially descriptive and only hypothetically and contingently normative. Epistemology enjoys an intimate relationship with human conduct and motivation--and is therefore normative--in virtue of its centrality and widespread utility as a means to our variable ends. Epistemology becomes normative only within the framework of instrumental reason and its normativity is parasitic upon that of the latter
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