Chapter

Nature and motivation of project. Doubts answered. Plato, Pears, Hobbes, comparison with State‐of‐Nature Theory in Political Philosophy. Evolutionary epistemology

Edward Craig

in Knowledge and the State of Nature

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238799
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198238797.003.0001
 Nature and motivation of project. Doubts answered. Plato, Pears, Hobbes, comparison with State‐of‐Nature Theory in Political Philosophy. Evolutionary epistemology

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Raises two problems for the standard approach to the concept of knowledge, which consists in attempting to provide an analysis in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. First, it is difficult to make intuitive ‘extensional’ ascriptions of knowledge mesh with ‘intensional’ intuitions about what makes for knowledge. Second, the approach gives no answer as to why the concept of knowledge enjoys such widespread use and to which needs of human life and thought it answers. The suggested alternative approach is the naturalistic one of practical explication, i.e. to start with a reasoned hypothesis about the answer to this last question by considering the state of nature, and then to ask what conditions would govern the application of such a concept.

Keywords: analysis; explication; extension; intension; knowledge; naturalism; state of nature

Chapter.  4340 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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