The Sciences and Epistemology

Alvin I. Goldman

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195301700
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Sciences and Epistemology

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This article finds that epistemology cannot be subsumed under or identified with a science. Epistemology and the sciences should remain distinct yet cooperative. This article presents several examples that illustrate the relevance of science to epistemology. For example, classical epistemology was heavily concerned with the sources of knowledge, where “sources” refers to the kinds of psychological faculties responsible for knowledge. Drawing from work in psychology, this article proposes that science can shed light on epistemic achievements by contributing to the understanding of the nature and extent of human cognitive endowments. It suggests, in addition, that psychology can also contribute to understanding of the sources of knowledge. Finally, it argues that some specific projects in epistemology can receive important contributions from psychology, economics, and sociology.

Keywords: epistemology; knowledge; psychology; economics; sociology

Article.  14963 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Science

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