The Perils of Epistemic Reductionism
Horgan (Terence)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 891-897
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction1

  1. Crispin Wright advocates a generic conception of truth involving two key features.
    1. First, a particular species of human discourse can involve genuine assertions, and can be apt for proper and correct application of a truth-predicate, even if the right metaphysical construal of that discourse is anti-realist rather than realist. Thus truth-aptness per se, as a feature of a given discourse (e.g., humor discourse, moral discourse, mathematical discourse, scientific discourse, etc.), is neutral about questions of realism and anti- realism.
    2. But second, questions of realism vs. anti-realism are closely intertwined with truth, because they largely turn on the specific constraints governing proper assertibility, and hence the truth-predicate, within a specific mode of discourse.
    The extent to which different discourses manifest such features can be a matter of degree: the local constraints on the truth predicate can be stronger than minimal, but weaker than the kind that reflect industrial-strength realist commitments.
  2. He also advocates a specific way of implementing this generic approach to truth. His proposed implementation is epistemically reductive: although it does not simply equate truth with warranted assertibility, it does suppose that the only fundamental norms governing truth are epistemic norms. …

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In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Somewhat arbitrarily truncated!


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