Naturalized Epistemology and the Genealogy of Knowledge

Chapter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 29)

Abstract

Hilary Kornblith’s naturalised epistemology centrally involves the thesis that knowledge is a natural kind like water or aluminium. In his most recent work, Kornblith seeks to defend this thesis by attacking what he perceives to be the central alternative: Edward Craig’s “genealogy of knowledge”. As Kornblith sees it, Craig is committed to the view that knowledge is an artificial or social kind. I argue, against Kornblith, (1) that Kornblith’s favoured account of natural kinds —the account developed by Richard Boyd—does not allow for a distinction between natural and social kinds: monarchy, liberalism, and even Napoleon are all natural kinds for Boyd; (2) that Kornblith misunderstands Craig’s genealogy: Craig is not committed to the view that knowledge is not a natural kind; Craig’s account of how the concept of knowledge has developed is compatible with the idea that we often use “knowledge” as a natural kind term; and (3) that Craig’s genealogy is in fact congenial to the general programme of naturalised epistemology.

Keywords

True Belief Natural Kind Epistemic State Natural Kind Term Naturalize Epistemology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

For discussions relating to the topic of this paper I am grateful to Miranda Fricker, Hilary Kornblith, Martin Lenz, Veli Mitova, Adela Roszkowski, the students of my class on Craig in the Winter term 2009–2010, and audiences in Amsterdam and Berlin.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and EducationUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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