Epistemological Naturalism and the Normativity Objection or from Normativity to Constitutivity

Erkenntnis 60 (1):35-49 (2004)
Abstract
A common objection raised against naturalism is that a naturalized epistemology cannot account for the essential normative character of epistemology. Following an analysis of different ways in which this charge could be understood, it will be argued that either epistemology is not normative in the relevant sense, or if it is, then in a way which a naturalized epistemology can account for with an instrumental and hypothetical model of normativity. Naturalism is here captured by the two doctrines of empiricism and gradualism. Epistemology is a descriptive discipline about what knowledge is and under what conditions a knowledge-claim is justified. However, we can choose to adopt a standard of justification and by doing so be evaluated by it. In this sense our epistemic practices have a normative character, but this is a form of normativity a naturalized epistemology can make room for. The normativity objection thus fails. However, in the course of this discussion, as yet another attempt to clarify the normativity objection, such a naturalistic model will be contrasted with Donald Davidson’s theory of interpretation. Even though this comparison will not improve upon the negative verdict upon the original objection, it will be argued that naturalism cannot accept Davidson’s theory since it contains at least one constitutive principle – the principle of charity – whose epistemic status is incompatible with the naturalistic doctrine of gradualism. So, if this principle has this role, then epistemology cannot be naturalized.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/B:ERKE.0000005168.36049.47
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,133
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Is Meaning Normative?Anandi Hattiangadi - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (2):220-240.
Hypothetical and Categorical Epistemic Normativity.Chase Wrenn - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):273-290.
Naturalistic Epistemologies and Normativity.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):299-317.
Normativity in Quine's Naturalism: The Technology of Truth-Seeking? [REVIEW]Wybo Houkes - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):251-267.
Epistemology as Engineering?Chase Wrenn - 2006 - Theoria 72 (1):60-79.
Added to PP index
2009-12-23

Total downloads
51 ( #105,249 of 2,191,816 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #144,668 of 2,191,816 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature