Churchland, Patricia, and . Epistemology in The Age of Neuroscience

1987, Journal of Philosophy 84 (1987): 546-83.

Comment: Churchland argues that advances in neuroscience should should bring about reform in a number of central areas of philosophy. Formal logic does not model human reasoning, formal semantics cannot account for how human language is meaningful, there are no foundations of knowledge, there is no a priori knowledge, and true belief is not a goal of human nervous systems.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on epistemology (in particular, a section on naturalised epistemology), the philosophy of cognitive science, the philosophy of biology or metaphilosophy. Though the paper touches on foundational issues in philosophy, it is a relatively straightforward read and an excellent conversation starter. Suitable for undergraduates of all levels, but also appropriate for graduate-level courses.

Jaegwon, Kim, and . What is “naturalized epistemology”?

1988, Philosophical Perspectives 2: 381-405.

Abstract: This paper analyzes and evaluates quine’s influential thesis that epistemology should become a chapter of empirical psychology. quine’s main point, it is argued, is that normativity must be banished from epistemology and, more generally, philosophy. i claim that without a normative concept of justification, we lose the very concept of knowledge, and that belief ascription itself becomes impossible without a normative concept of rationality. further, the supervenience of concepts of epistemic appraisal shows that normative epistemology is indeed possible.

Comment: This is a very good introductory reading on naturalised epistemology. It is often used in combination with Quine's paper "Epistemology Naturalized". Suitable for a lower-level undergraduate courses in epistemology.