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A Pluralist Account of Knowledge as a Natural Kind

Stephens, Andreas (2016) In Philosophia 44(3). p.885-903
Abstract

In an attempt to address some long-standing issues of epistemology, Hilary Kornblith proposes that knowledge is a natural kind the identification of which is the unique responsibility of one particular science: cognitive ethology. As Kornblith sees it, the natural kind thus picked out is knowledge as construed by reliabilism. Yet the claim that cognitive ethology has this special role has not convinced all critics. The present article argues that knowledge plays a causal and explanatory role within many of our more fruitful current theories, diverging from the reliabilist conception even in disciplines that are closely related to cognitive ethology, and thus still dealing with knowledge as a natural as opposed to a social phenomenon,... (More)

In an attempt to address some long-standing issues of epistemology, Hilary Kornblith proposes that knowledge is a natural kind the identification of which is the unique responsibility of one particular science: cognitive ethology. As Kornblith sees it, the natural kind thus picked out is knowledge as construed by reliabilism. Yet the claim that cognitive ethology has this special role has not convinced all critics. The present article argues that knowledge plays a causal and explanatory role within many of our more fruitful current theories, diverging from the reliabilist conception even in disciplines that are closely related to cognitive ethology, and thus still dealing with knowledge as a natural as opposed to a social phenomenon, where special attention will be given to cognitive neuroscience. However, rather than discarding the natural kind approach altogether, it is argued that many of Kornblith’s insights can in fact be preserved within a framework that is both naturalist and pluralist.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cognitive ethology, Cognitive neuroscience, Hilary Kornblith, Knowledge, Natural kind, Naturalistic epistemology, Pluralism
in
Philosophia
volume
44
issue
3
pages
19 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84976340338
  • wos:000384552500019
ISSN
0048-3893
DOI
10.1007/s11406-016-9738-3
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
a1fb79a7-a2f6-4361-9b9b-a8544e17537e
date added to LUP
2016-11-09 13:23:01
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:39:16
@article{a1fb79a7-a2f6-4361-9b9b-a8544e17537e,
  abstract     = {<p>In an attempt to address some long-standing issues of epistemology, Hilary Kornblith proposes that knowledge is a natural kind the identification of which is the unique responsibility of one particular science: cognitive ethology. As Kornblith sees it, the natural kind thus picked out is knowledge as construed by reliabilism. Yet the claim that cognitive ethology has this special role has not convinced all critics. The present article argues that knowledge plays a causal and explanatory role within many of our more fruitful current theories, diverging from the reliabilist conception even in disciplines that are closely related to cognitive ethology, and thus still dealing with knowledge as a natural as opposed to a social phenomenon, where special attention will be given to cognitive neuroscience. However, rather than discarding the natural kind approach altogether, it is argued that many of Kornblith’s insights can in fact be preserved within a framework that is both naturalist and pluralist.</p>},
  author       = {Stephens, Andreas},
  issn         = {0048-3893},
  keyword      = {Cognitive ethology,Cognitive neuroscience,Hilary Kornblith,Knowledge,Natural kind,Naturalistic epistemology,Pluralism},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {885--903},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Philosophia},
  title        = {A Pluralist Account of Knowledge as a Natural Kind},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11406-016-9738-3},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2016},
}