Epistemology culturalized

Dirk Hartmann
University of Duisburg-Essen
The anti-metaphysical intentions of naturalism can be respected without abandoning the project of a normative epistemology. The central assumptions of naturalism imply that (1.) the distinction between action and behaviour is spurious, and (2.) epistemology cannot continue to be a normative project. Difficulties with the second implication have been adressed by Normative Naturalism, but without violating the naturalistic consensus, it can only appreciate means-end-rationality. However, this does not suffice to justify its own implicit normative pretensions. According to our diagnosis, naturalism succumbs to the lure of an absolute observer's stance and thereby neglects the need for participation in communal practice. By contrast, methodical culturalism ties down the concepts of epistemology to the success of such practice. Only from this perspective, the normative force of epistemology can be appreciated. Also, the mind-body problem loosens its hold and the distinction between action and behaviour is reestablished. In the last section, the mutual relation between philosophy andscience is reconsidered.
Keywords agency  culturalism  epistemology  mind-body problem  naturalism  normativity
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008361223224
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