David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 142 (3):371 - 386 (2009)
The project of treating knowledge as an empirical object of study has gained popularity in recent naturalistic epistemology. It is argued here that the assumption that such an object of study exists is in tension with other central elements of naturalistic philosophy. Two hypotheses are considered. In the first, “knowledge” is hypothesized to refer to mental states causally responsible for the behaviour of cognitive agents. Here, the relational character of truth creates a problem. In the second hypothesis “knowledge” is hypothesized to refer to mental states causally responsible for the evolutionarily successful behaviour of cognitive agents. Here, the problem lies in the fact that evolution by natural selection is not necessarily conducive to truth. The result does not necessarily amount to eliminativism, however, since the naturalist may consistently reject the condition of truth that lies behind these problems.
|Keywords||Naturalism Naturalistic epistemology Causality Proximate/ultimate Cognitive ethology Truth Reference Eliminativism|
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References found in this work BETA
Fred Dretske (1995). Naturalizing the Mind. MIT Press.
Jaegwon Kim (1998). Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation. MIT Press.
Alvin I. Goldman (1986). Epistemology and Cognition. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Joachim Horvath (forthcoming). Conceptual Analysis and Natural Kinds: The Case of Knowledge. Synthese:1-18.
Adam J. Arico & Don Fallis (2013). Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: An Empirical Investigation of the Concept of Lying. Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):790 - 816.
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