College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts In Philosophical Studies (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Philosophy; Physics, General; Chemistry, General; Biology, General; Religion, General; Religion, Philosophy of
Empiricism, Epistemology, Methodological Naturalism, Naturalism, Naturalized Epistemology, Philosophy of Science
Epistemology | Life Sciences | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Shaw, Kegan, "Removing The Classical Landmark: Assessing an Epistemology Governed by Methodological Naturalism" (2013). Masters Theses. 285.
This paper proposes to assess the naturalist project in epistemology with an eye towards exposing the project as deficient for serving as a robust epistemological project. Epistemologists treasure a certain family of questions and burden themselves with a number of specific concerns the most important of which, I think, cannot be answered by the epistemological naturalist. Ignoring these questions, I will argue, essentially amounts to a dismissal of the principle tension that primarily motivates and properly guides epistemological theorizing. This tension is the familiar appearance vs. reality distinction and characterizes what I am calling the classical landmark or boundary-stone for epistemological theorizing. I will defend the claim that a full replacement of the traditional/classical epistemological project by a naturalized epistemology closes epistemology off from making important claims needed in a theory of human knowledge and, for that reason, a full replacement should be resisted. These claims that an epistemology should be expected to make issue from what I call the classical landmark for epistemological inquiry. Naturalist's effectively ignore this landmark and I caution them in the spirit of the proverb to not "remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set (Proverbs 22:28).