The Effects of Goodman’s Epistemology on his Terminology/Concepts

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 343)


The effects of Goodman’s epistemology on the terms and concepts available to him are seen most clearly in the notions of truth and in the kinds of knowledge that can be claimed within the referential functions of his semantic account. Goodman cannot refer to certain kinds of universal truths, which would include universal scientific facts, universal truths about human nature, or even a universal account of common sense as is relied on in both J.S. Mill’s philosophy as well as mid-twentieth century philosophy of language. Since Goodman disavows the correspondence theory of truth and the causal account of knowledge, (which would give us an irremediably biological necessity to perception and is most frequently relied upon by both scientists and artists), his coherentism, especially when combined with his relativism, gives no claim to absolute or objective truths. Our reactions to the world are not “natural” but are instead delineated by our own social agreements that have codified themselves into the logic of semantics. For Goodman, there is no “natural” way of seeing things nor are there any natural kinds.


Natural Kind Symbol System Cultural Relativism Correspondence Theory Causal Account 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BrooklynUSA

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