Authors
Michael-John Turp
University of Canterbury
Abstract
Gradually emerging from the so-called 'linguistic turn', philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century witnessed what we might follow P. M. S. Hacker in describing as a 'naturalistic turn'. This change of direction, an abandon­ment of traditional philosophical methods in favour of a scientific approach, or critics would say a scientistic approach, has met with widespread approval. In the first part of the paper I look to establish the centrality of the normative to the dis­cipline of epistemology. I then turn to examine Quine's attempt to reduce norma­tive discourse to instrumental rationality, and the more fully developed accounts provided by Stich, Kornblith and Papineau. I argue that these accounts fail because they insist on a constitutive connection between desires and the ends of epistemic activity. I conclude with the suggestion that a more plausible position severs this connection, in favour of an objective, externalist account of ends and reasons
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DOI 10.5840/forphil200813226
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