Naturalizing epistemology : reconsidering quine and nietzsche
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This dissertation argues for ways to construct a more viable normative epistemology--the part of epistemology that focuses on normative notions such as rationality, justification, evidence, and reasons--for a branch of naturalism called replacement naturalism. The replacement naturalist, in contrast to other types of naturalists, rejects a priori methods and wants to replace those methods with a posteriori methods. Critics of replacement naturalism have questioned the plausibility of providing a normative epistemology account based solely on empirical methods. Most contemporary replacement naturalist theories fail to adequately respond to common critiques about their viability, because their normative epistemologies lack coherence and substance. I argue that we can find insights on how to better respond to these basic viability concerns by looking back to Quine and Nietzsche. In this regard, I offer a new interpretation of Quine's naturalized epistemology and his turn to psychology--one that reduces concerns about coherence, but still affirms he was not abandoning normative epistemology. I also offer a new interpretation of Nietzsche's normative theory--which focuses on his central project of the reevaluation of all values. Reconsidering Quine's turn to psychology and Nietzsche's reevaluation of values can help replacement naturalists respond to the incoherence and substantiality objections against their normative epistemology accounts.
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