Meera Nanda arguers first-world intellectuals who espouse anti-science, anti-enlightenment, and relativist epistemological theories are guilty of supporting reactionary religious-political movements in India (and elsewhere in the third-world). I contend Nanda's argument betrays the very enlightenment ideas it aims to defend.
Sixteenth-century Nahua philosophy understands neltiliztli (truth) and tlamitilizli (wisdom, knowledge) nonsemantically in terms of a complex notion consisting of well-rootedness, alethia ,authenticity, adeptness, moral righteousness, beauty, and balancedness. In so doing, it offers compelling a posteriori grounds for denying what Alvin Goldman calls veritism .Veritism defends the universality of correspondence (semantic) truth as well as the universal centrality of correspondence (semantic) truth to epistemology. Key Words: truth veritism Nahua philosophy Aztec philopsophy mesoamerican philosophy teotl (...) Alvin Goldman Martin Heidegger. (shrink)
Advocates of the strong programme in the sociology of knowledge contend that its four defining tenets entail the elimination and replacement tout court of epistemology by strong sociology of knowledge. I advance a naturalistic conception of both substantive and meta-level epistemological inquiry which fully complies with these four tenets and thereby shows that the strong programme neither entails nor even augurs the demise of epistemology.
Atran advances three theses: our folk-biological taxonomy is (1) universal, (2) innate, and (3) the product of natural selection. I argue that Atran offers insufficient support for theses (2) and (3) and that his evolutionary psychology thus amounts to nothing more than a just-so story.
Roy Sorensen advances an evolutionary explanation of our capacity for thought experiments which doubles as a naturalized epistemological justification. I argue Sorensens explanation fails to satisfy key elements of environmental-selectionist explanations and so fails to carry epistemic force. I then argue that even if Sorensen succeeds in showing the adaptive utility of our capacity, he still fails to establish its reliability and hence epistemic utility. I conclude Sorensens account comes to little more than a just-so story.
Naturalists seek continuity between epistemology and science. Critics argue this illegitimately expands science into epistemology and commits the fallacy of scientism. Must naturalists commit this fallacy? I defend a conception of naturalized epistemology which upholds the non-identity of epistemic ends, norms, and concepts with scientific evidential ends, norms, and concepts. I argue it enables naturalists to avoid three leading scientistic fallacies: dogmatism, one dimensionalism, and granting science an epistemic monopoly.
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. (shrink)
Continuity lies at the heart of the recent naturalistic turn in epistemology. Naturalists are united by a shared commitment to the continuity of science and epistemology, and tend to advocate one or more species of continuity: contextual, semantic, epistemological methodological, metaphysical, and axiological. Naturalists divide, however, over the interpretation and scope of this continuity. The naturalism of Goldman, Kim and Sosa is criticised for leaving meta-epistemology methodologically and epistemologically autonomous from science. A more plausible approach naturalizes epistemology 'all the way (...) up', i.e., including meta-epistemology itself. (shrink)