Is Epistemology a Kind of Inquiry?

Journal of Philosophical Research 40:483-488 (2015)
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Abstract

There are three widely held beliefs among epistemologists: (1) the goal of inquiry is truth or something that entails truth; (2) epistemology aims for a reflectively stable theory via reflective equilibrium; (3) epistemology is a kind of inquiry. I argue that accepting (1) and (2) entails denying (3). This is a problem especially for the philosophers (e.g. Duncan Pritchard and Alvin Goldman) who accept both (1) and (2), for in order to be consistent, they must reject (3). The tension is not restricted to epistemology. A similar tension also exists in the area of moral philosophy. The tension can be generalized. If one believes that the goal of inquiry is truth or something that entails truth and that philosophy aims for a reflectively stable theory via reflective equilibrium, she must deny that philosophy is a kind of inquiry.

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Xingming Hu
NanJing University

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References found in this work

The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Behaviorism 17 (2):161-164.

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