The two faces of Quine's naturalism

Synthese 94 (3):335 - 356 (1993)
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Abstract

Quine's naturalized epistemology is ambivalent between a modest naturalism according to which epistemology is an a posteriori discipline, an integral part of the web of empirical belief, and a scientistic naturalism according to which epistemology is to be conducted wholly within the natural sciences. This ambivalence is encouraged by Quine's ambiguous use of science, to mean sometimes, broadly, our presumed empirical knowledge and sometimes, narrowly, the natural sciences. Quine's modest naturalism is reformist, tackling the traditional epistemological problems in a novel way; his scientistic naturalism is revolutionary, requiring restriction and reconceptualization of epistemological problems. In particular, his scientistic naturalism trivializes the question of the epistemic standing of the natural sciences, whereas modest naturalism takes it seriously, and can offer a plausible answer.

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Susan Haack
University of Miami

Citations of this work

Naturalistic Epistemology and Reliabilism.Alvin I. Goldman - 1994 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):301-320.
Duhem–Quine virtue epistemology.Abrol Fairweather - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):673-692.
Quine on the Nature of Naturalism.Sander Verhaegh - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):96-115.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.

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