Hey guys! Here is my attempt to start a discussion after many months away from the blog. 🙂
Last week, during a discussion about naturalized epistemology, a very interesting series of interconnected topics came up that I want to explore more in-depth. For those who don’t know, naturalized epistemology is the idea that epistemology should be connected with science in some way. Many epistemologists merely believe that we should consider developments in cognitive science when doing our epistemology. More radical theorists seem to want epistemology to equal cognitive science.
This brings up the first topic I want to discuss. Cognitive science tells us how we do think, perhaps even how we can think. Should we tie justification or knowledge to only how we do or can think? That would neatly do away with skepticism, but at what cost? It seems that such a method of approaching epistemology would put some serious limits on epistemological theories including excluding the concept of possible worlds (which science can tell us nothing about) and seemingly requiring separate theories of justification or knowledge for different life-forms (like Vulcans or Hobbits or Sonny from I, Robot, which would potentially have different cognitive capabilities).
So I have a few questions. First, should we tie epistemology to science in such a strong way? Do you have a problem with excluding discussions of possible worlds from epistemology? How about sacrificing a universal (or at least almost) epistemology? Is it possible to have this close tie without the above effects? Feel free to chip in any other possible ramifications of such a strong naturalized epistemology you can think of, plus any nerdier examples than Spock and Frodo.
Oh, and thank you to the reading group! Many of these ideas are theirs, not mine. Credit where credit’s due.