Philosophical Studies 142 (3):371 - 386 (2009)
AbstractThe project of treating knowledge as an empirical object of study has gained popularity in recent naturalistic epistemology. It is argued here that the assumption that such an object of study exists is in tension with other central elements of naturalistic philosophy. Two hypotheses are considered. In the first, “knowledge” is hypothesized to refer to mental states causally responsible for the behaviour of cognitive agents. Here, the relational character of truth creates a problem. In the second hypothesis “knowledge” is hypothesized to refer to mental states causally responsible for the evolutionarily successful behaviour of cognitive agents. Here, the problem lies in the fact that evolution by natural selection is not necessarily conducive to truth. The result does not necessarily amount to eliminativism, however, since the naturalist may consistently reject the condition of truth that lies behind these problems.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind.Jerry A. Fodor - 1987 - MIT Press.
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1984 - MIT Press.
Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes.Fred Dretske - 1988 - MIT Press.
Citations of this work
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: An Empirical Investigation of the Concept of Lying.Adam J. Arico & Don Fallis - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):790 - 816.
Conceptual Analysis and Natural Kinds: The Case of Knowledge.Joachim Horvath - 2016 - Synthese 193 (1):167-184.
Perceiving as Knowing in the Predictive Mind.Daniel Munro - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1177-1203.
Thought Experiments Without Possible Worlds.Daniel Dohrn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):363-384.
Similar books and articles
Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality: Testing Religious Truth-Claims.R. Scott Smith - 2011 - Ashgate.
On the Possibility of Naturalistic and of Pure Epistemology.Leila Haaparanta - 1999 - Synthese 118 (1):31-47.
Boghossian on Empty Natural Kind Concepts.Tom Stoneham - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):119-22.
Epistemology, Realism, and Truth: The First Philosophical Perspectives Lecture.Ernest Sosa - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:1-16.
Scientific Realism and Naturalistic Epistemology.Richard Boyd - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:613-662.
Cognitive Faculties and Evolutionary Naturalism.Bernardo Cantens - 2006 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:201-208.
Naturalistic Epistemology for Eliminative Materialists.Alex Rosenberg - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2):335-358.