Quine on the Norms of Naturalized Epistemology

  • Gary EbbsEmail author
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)


My central goal in this paper is to interpret what Quine says in his Kant lectures about the norms of epistemology and the doctrinal and conceptual tasks of epistemology—the tasks, respectively, of constructing good theories and of clarifying meanings—in light of what he says about these topics in several of his earlier and later works. I argue that despite one puzzling passage in the Kant lectures that misleadingly suggests otherwise, the norms of Quine’s epistemology are exclusively doctrinal, not conceptual.


Conceptual task of epistemology Doctrinal task of epistemology Jaegwon Kim Naturalistic epistemology Epistemological Norms 



I presented an early draft of this paper in February 2018 at Quine’s 1980 Kant Lectures, a Group session of the Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy at the Central Division meetings of the APA in Chicago. I thank the chair of the session, Joshua Eisenthal, and the other participants for their comments immediately following my presentation, Adam Leite for helping me to sort through some of the epistemological assumptions that Quine rejects, and Robert Sinclair and Sander Verhaegh for their very helpful written comments and editorial advice on the penultimate draft.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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