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Epistemology without Metaphysics

Hartry Field
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 143, No. 2 (Mar., 2009), pp. 249-290
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27734403
Page Count: 42
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Epistemology without Metaphysics
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Abstract

The paper outlines a view of normativity that combines elements of relativism and expressivism, and applies it to normative concepts in epistemology. The result is a kind of epistemological anti-realism, which denies that epistemic norms can be (in any straightforward sense) correct or incorrect; it does allow some to be better than others, but takes this to be goal-relative and is skeptical of the existence of best norms. It discusses the circularity that arises from the fact that we need to use epistemic norms to gather the facts with which to evaluate epistemic norms; relatedly, it discusses how epistemic norms can rationally evolve. It concludes with some discussion of the impact of this view on "ground level" epistemology.

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