Michael-John Turp

Naturalized Epistemology and the Normative

Article
13/2 - Fall 2008, pages 343–355
Date of online publication: 15 November 2008
Date of publication: 01 November 2008

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.

Keywords

Cite this article

Turp, Michael-John. “Naturalized Epistemology and the Normative.” Forum Philosophicum 13, no. 2 (2008): 343–355. doi:10.5840/forphil200813226.

Bibliography

Alcázar, Javier Rodríguez. “Epistemic Aims and Values in W. V. Quine’s, Naturalized Epistemology.” Philosophical Issues 3 (1993): 309–318. doi:10.2307/1522950.

Brown, Harold I. “Normative Epistemology and Naturalized Epistemology.” Inquiry 31 (1988): 53–78.

Haack, Susan. “‘The Ethics of Belief’ Reconsidered.” In Knowledge, Truth, and Duty: Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue, edited by Matthias Steup, 21–33. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. doi:10.1093/0195128923.003.0002.

Hacker, P. M. S. “Passing by the Naturalistic Turn: on Quine’s Cul-De-Sac.” Philosophy 81 (2006): 231–253.

Hahn, Lewis Edwin, and Paul Arthur Schilpp, eds. The Philosophy of W.V. Quine. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1986.

Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature. Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Janvid, M. “Epistemological Naturalism and the Normativity Objection or from Normativity to Constitutivity.” Erkenntnis 60, no. 1 (2004): 35–49.

Kim, Jaegwon. “What is ‘Naturalized Epistemology’?” Philosophical Perspectives 2 (1988): 381–405.

Kornblith, Hilary. Knowledge and Its Place in Nature. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.

Laudan, Larry. “Normative Naturalism.” Philosophy of Science 57, no. 1 (1990): 44–59.

Maffie, James. “Naturalism and the Normativity of Epistemology.” Philosophical Studies 59, no. 3 (1990): 333–349.

O’Hagan, Emer. “Belief, Normativity and the Constitution of Agency.” Philosophical Explorations 8, no. 1 (2005): 39–52.

Papineau, David. “Normativity and Judgement.” In The Roots of Reason: Philosophical Essays on Rationality, Evolution and Probability, 6–38. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003.

Plantinga, Alvin. Warrant. The Current Debat. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Quine, Willard Van Orman. “Epistemology Naturalized.” In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 69–90. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1969.

Quine, Willard Van Orman. 1969b, “Natural Kinds.” In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 114–138. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1969.

Quine, Willard Van Orman. “Ontological Relativity.” In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 26–68. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1969.

Quine, Willard Van Orman. “Reply to Morton White.” In The Philosophy of W. V. Quine, edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn and Paul Arthur Schilpp, 663–665. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1986.

Siegel, Harvey. “Instrumental Rationality and Naturalized Philosophy of Science.” Philosophy of Science 63, no. 3 (1996): 116–124. doi:10.1086/289943.

Stich, Stephen P. The Fragmentation of Reason: Preface to a Pragmatic Theory of Cognitive Evaluation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990.

White, Morton. “Normative Ethics, Normative Epistemology and Quine’s Holism.” In The Philosophy of W. V. Quine, edited by Lewis Edwin Hahn and Paul Arthur Schilpp, 649–662. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1986.

Copyright