Chapter

Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions

Jonathan M. Weinberg, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich

in Collected Papers, Volume 2

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199733477
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949823 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733477.003.0008
Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions

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This chapter argues for two claims. The first is that a sizeable group of epistemological projects—a group which includes much of what has been done in epistemology in the analytic tradition—would be seriously undermined if one or more of a cluster of empirical hypotheses about epistemic intuitions turns out to be true. The basis for this claim is set out in Section 2. The second claim is that, while the jury is still out, there is now a substantial body of evidence suggesting that some of those empirical hypotheses are true. Much of this evidence derives from an ongoing series of experimental studies of epistemic intuitions. A preliminary report on these studies is presented in Section 3. In light of these studies, it is incumbent on those who pursue the epistemological projects in question to either explain why the truth of the hypotheses does not undermine their projects, or to say why, in light of the evidence presented, they nonetheless assume that the hypotheses are false. Section 4, which is devoted to Objections and Replies, considers some of the ways in which defenders of the projects being criticized might reply to the challenge.

Keywords: epistemology; empirical hypothesis; epistemic intuitions; epistemological projects

Chapter.  12280 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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