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Truth, Epistemic Ideals and the Psychology of Categorization

Robert N. McCauley
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1986, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1986), pp. 198-207
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193120
Page Count: 10
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Truth, Epistemic Ideals and the Psychology of Categorization
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Abstract

Recent theoretical work on the psychology of categorization emphasizes the role cognitive constructs play in perception and categorization. This approach supports Putnam's rejection of metaphysical realism. However, the experimental findings concerning basic level categories, in particular, suggest that robust stabilitites among our systems of empirical concepts persist in the face of considerable theoretical diversity and change. These stabilities undermine Putnam's strongest negative conclusions concerning the correspondence theory of truth (once it is uncoupled from metaphysical realism). The centrality of a correspondence criterion of truth (in a larger theory of truth) is psychologically inescapable, rationally indispensable, and (therefore) epistemologically fundamental.

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