Can a Localist and Descriptive Epistemological Naturalism Avoid Dogmatic Foundations?
Cíntora (Armando)
Source: Sorites 14, October 2002: 42-56
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    It is argued that epistemological naturalism is the result of a holist thesis plus a high valuation of empirical science. Epistemological naturalism criticizes the sceptic for entertaining unjustified global doubts and naturalism tries to avoid scepticism by taking for granted as non problematic our background scientific knowledge and by recommending only a localist or piecemealist mending of our corpus of knowledge, these corrections will be motivated by limited and justified questions. It is argued that the epistemological naturalist:
    … i) Cannot justify without vicious circularity the most basic methods of science nor epistemological naturalism’s localist recommendation.
    … ii) That if epistemological naturalism intends to be a description of genuine scientific methods then naturalism tacitly takes for granted, i.e., without justification, some epistemic norms.
    … iii) That natural science itself (evolutionary biology) produces traditional sceptic doubts, and therefore epistemological naturalism cannot avoid scepticism.
    … iv) That naturalism can neither avoid sceptic doubts by substituting an argumentative theory of justification with a reliabilist theory.


Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 14

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