Naturalistic Epistemology

A Symposium of Two Decades

  • Abner Shimony
  • Debra Nails

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 100)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Introduction

    1. Abner Shimony
      Pages 1-13
  3. Historical Figures

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Abner Shimony
      Pages 71-72
    3. Abner Shimony
      Pages 112-114
    4. Milič Čapek
      Pages 115-118
    5. William A. Rottschaefer
      Pages 145-161
  4. The Use of Cognitive Psychology in Epistemology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. John Heffner
      Pages 193-214
    3. Abner Shimony
      Pages 230-234
    4. Joseph Levine
      Pages 259-290
    5. Abner Shimony
      Pages 291-294
    6. Joseph Agassi
      Pages 295-298
    7. Abner Shimony
      Pages 299-318
  5. Criticisms of Naturalistic Epistemology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 319-319
    2. Abner Shimony
      Pages 333-336
    3. Joseph Agassi
      Pages 337-340
    4. Abner Shimony
      Pages 352-355
    5. Marx W. Wartofsky
      Pages 357-374
    6. Abner Shimony
      Pages 375-377
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 379-388

About this book


1. AIMS OF THE INTRODUCTION The systematic assessment of claims to knowledge is the central task of epistemology. According to naturalistic epistemologists, this task cannot be well performed unless proper attention is paid to the place of the knowing subject in nature. All philosophers who can appropriately be called 'naturalistic epistemologists' subscribe to two theses: (a) human beings, including their cognitive faculties, are entities in nature, inter­ acting with other entities studied by the natural sciences; and (b) the results of natural scientific investigations of human beings, particularly of biology and empirical psychology, are relevant and probably crucial to the epistemological enterprise. Naturalistic epistemologists differ in their explications of theses (a) and (b) and also in their conceptions of the proper admixture of other components needed for an adequate treatment of human knowledg- e.g., linguistic analysis, logic, decision theory, and theory of value. Those contributors to this volume who consider themselves to be naturalistic epistemologists (the majority) differ greatly in these respects. It is not my intention in this introduction to give a taxonomy of naturalistic epistemologies. I intend only to provide an overview which will stimulate a critical reading of the articles in the body of this volume, by facilitating a recognition of the authors' assumptions, emphases, and omissions.


Charles Sanders Peirce Immanuel Kant epistemology evolution knowledge subject

Editors and affiliations

  • Abner Shimony
    • 1
  • Debra Nails
    • 2
  1. 1.Boston UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of the WitwatersrandSouth Africa

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-8168-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-3735-2
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • Buy this book on publisher's site