Confronting the Normativity Objection: W.V. Quine’s Engineering Model and Michael A. Bishop and J.D. Trout’s Strategic Reliabilism




Moghaddam, Soroush

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The purpose of this thesis is to critically examine how W.V. Quine, Michael A. Bishop and J.D. Trout confront the normativity objection against naturalized epistemology. In Chapter One, normativity in epistemology is introduced, followed by a brief look over Quine’s grievances against the traditional approach to epistemology. Quine rejects traditional epistemology and assimilates epistemology with science. The second chapter assesses how Quine naturalizes epistemology, and the third chapter evaluates his engineering response against the normativity objection. Bishop and Trout’s theory, founded upon the Aristotelian Principle, concentrates on reasoning and epistemic excellence instead of belief justification. Strategic Reliabilism’s attempt to dissolve the naturalistic challenge and resolve the normativity objection is inspected in Chapter Four. The final chapter, succinctly, summarizes its preceding chapters and ends by suggesting a closer exploration of the link between epistemology and cognitive sciences, to better understand the underlying mechanics of the objections that face naturalized epistemology.



Philosophy, Naturalized Epistemology, W.V. Quine, Michael A. Bishop, J.D. Trout, Normativity, Engineering, Strategic Reliabilism, Cognitive Sciences, Science, Naturalistic Challenge, Aristotelian Principle, Intuition