A Naturalistic Epistemology: Selected Papers

ISBN : 9780198712459

Hilary Kornblith
240 Pages
165 x 241 mm
Pub date
Dec 2014
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This volume draws together influential work by Hilary Kornblith on naturalistic epistemology. The naturalistic approach sees epistemology not as a matter of analysis of concepts, but as an explanatory project constrained and informed by work in the cognitive sciences. These essays expound and defend Kornblith's distinctive view of how we come to have knowledge of the world. He offers critical discussion of alternative approaches, such as foundationalism, the coherence theory of justification, internalism, and externalism; and he discusses social epistemology, the role of intuitions in philosophical theorizing, epistemic normativity, and the ways in which philosophical theories may be informed by empirical considerations. Kornblith aims to show how an epistemology which is based in the sciences of cognition may provide the understanding and intellectual illumination which has always been the goal of philosophical theorizing.


1. Beyond Foundationalism and the Coherence Theory
2. Justified Belief and Epistemically Responsible Action
3. How Internal Can You Get?
4. The Unattainability of Coherence
5. Epistemic Normativity
6. A Conservative Approach to Social Epistemology
7. Naturalism: Both Metaphysical and Epistemological
8. Knowledge in Humans and Other Animals
9. Does Reliabilism Make Knowledge Merely Conditional?
10. Naturalism and Intuitions
11. A Reliabilist Solution to the Problem of Promiscuous Bootstrapping
12. Why Should We Care about the Concept of Knowledge?
13. Reasons, Naturalism, and Transcendental Philosophy

About the author: 

Hilary Kornblith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Inductive Inference and its Natural Ground (MIT, Press, 1993); Knowledge and its Place in Nature (OUP, 2002); and On Reflection (OUP 2012).

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