However, I shall argue, it is possible to account for justification within a naturalistic framework broadly construed along Quinean lines. Along the way I shall offer a corrective to Quine’s celebrated dictum that the Humean condition is the human condition. The most trenchant criticism of naturalistic approaches to epistemology is that they are unable to successfully deal with norms and questions of justification. Epistemology without norms, it is alleged, is epistemology in name only, an endeavor not worth doing. (See e. g., Stroud 1984, Kim 1988, Rorty 1979) Furthermore, it is claimed, an epistemology without norms or with norms fashioned from scientific practice leaves science prey to skeptical doubts.
Since Laudan does not say how to prioritize incompatible aims, axiological consistency is an utopian desideratum. Thus, his constraints on cognitive aims contradict one another. Finally, (v), Laudan's axiological constraints are too weak and in order to strengthen them, he must invoke without justification some implicit pre-philosophical cognitive aims. This opens the logical possibility of axiological relativism, which Laudan attempted from the beginning to avoid. Laudan's Theory of Aims In Science and Values, Laudan has developed the view that our scientific aims can sometimes be rationally selected by imposing two constraints (1) on them: 1. they should be jointly consistent, 2. a pragmatic constraint of empirical realizability, or non-utopianism.
Entity realists believe in things, but not theories. The entity realist believes that you should believe in the existence of an entity 'E' referred to by a term 'E' just in case our understanding of 'E' allows to successfully construct instruments that manipulate and use the world in a variety of diverse contexts and structures. Entity realists do not believe that entities are true because there is no clear definition of true. Anti-realists have no argument against entity realists, because entity realism attempts to shoot down theories.
In “God, Design, and Fine-Tuning”, Robin Collins argues for the Intelligent Design of the universe from the Fine-Tuning Argument. Collins’ argument is probabilistic in nature; however, it fails due to its misuse of probability theory. Aided by the work of both Bradley Monton and Mark Colyvan, I will show why Collins’ argument fails. It can be shown that this line of reasoning concludes that the existence of a life permitting universe is zero. Essentially, Collins’ argument does not prove what he claims it does and is too strong to account for the existence of a life permitting universe because it not only misuses probability, but is rendered useless due to the paradoxes inherent in probability theory.
Immanuel Kant’s doctrine of transcendental idealism contends that all we can know about external things lies in their appearances as they are presented to us and affect our sensibility. Initially, this may seem to be the same principle found in traditional idealism. However, unlike traditional idealists, Kant does not deny the existence of the external things. He believes that these objects are indeed real. However, we cannot know anything about their existence independent of us, how they may truly be in themselves; we can only know about their appearances, which are represented in us (Kant 40).
In his essay “Anarchical Fallacies,” Jeremy Bentham argues that “Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible [i.e. inalienable] rights, rhetorical nonsense,—nonsense upon stilts” Bentham supports his conclusion that not only that these ideas are meaningless, but are also quite dangerous and that natural law is simply nonsense by stating the following reasons: First Bentham called
This argument follows from the belief that there is an external world that exists independently of ourselves, and does not seem to be contradictory to our experiences. Devitt argues that this belief, despite it not being certain, is easily explained along Darwinian lines, because any species that did not assume the external world exists would be presumably killed off by natural selection. While there may be other objections to this argument, I will focus on two more predominate objections. The first will be that it does not deal specifically with reality, or if objects exist, and will hence be susceptible to objection by an idealist, who would argue that the innate belief in the external world comes from us perceiving ideas in Gods mind. However, I would argue that this is not the intention of the argument, and can be challenged the same way as the sceptic’s argument.
On Certainty In his essay “An Argument for Skepticism”, Peter Unger makes the case for the “universal form of the skeptical thesis”. He is arguing for the position that any type of knowledge is impossible for any person. His argument seems to be a simple one, derived from two very clear hypotheses, but that is not the case. This paper is an attempt to show that while philosophically interesting, Unger’s attack on knowledge is not nearly so damaging as he contends. I will argue that Unger mischaracterizes the nature of certainty as it is ordinarily used (something he says is important to his argument), and also that he has mischaracterized one of the sources he used to defend this definition.
Two Points Against Naturalized Epistemology ABSTRACT: My aim is to raise two points against naturalizing epistemology. First, against Quine’s version of naturalizing epistemology, I claim that the traditional questions of epistemology are indispensable, in that they impose themselves in every attempt to construct an epistemology. These epistemological questions are pre- and extra-scientific questions; they are beyond the scientific domain of research, thus, for a distinct province of inquiry. Second, I claim that no naturalistic account can be given as an answer to the traditional question of justification. I take Goldman’s and Haack’s accounts as examples to support my claim.
Realism and conventionalism generally establish the parameters of debate over universals. Do abstract terms in language refer to abstract things in the world? The realist answers yes, leaving us with an inflated ontology; the conventionalist answers no, leaving us with subjective categories. I want to defend nominalism — in its original medieval sense, as one possibility that aims to preserve objectivity while positing nothing more than concrete individuals in the world. First, I will present paradigmatic statements of realism and conventionalism as developed by Russell and Strawson.