SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Pseudogap between Descriptive and Normative in Process of Belief Formation
(Epistemology, English)

A Difference between normative and naturalistic approach to epistemology can be summarized in answering the following questions:
(a) How do we arrive at our beliefs?
(b) How ought we to arrive at our beliefs?
(c) Are the proceses by which we do arrive at our beliefs the ones by which we ought to arrive at our beliefs?
We could use traditional approach and say that question (a) should be answered by the psychologist, question (b) by philosophers and answer to question (c) should be a combination of those two answers.
Completely different is naturalistic approach which suggests that the answering (b) cannot be acomplished without answering (a). There are, of course, different lines of thought in naturalistic epistemology. There are radical theses such as Quine's. His replacement thesis suggests that all of philosophical questions should be answered by psychology (Quine, 1969). There is a stronger and a weaker form of replacement thesis (I will argue in favor of the latter).
I will take somewhere neutral psychologistic perspective in dealing with issues in question. Psychologism is the view that the processes by which we ought to arrive at our beliefs are the proceses by which we do arrive at our beliefs (Kornblith, 1993). Nevertheless, I will argue that epistemology keeps its autonomy by highlighting pseudo-conflict between epistemology and psychology. There are different questions and different methodologies in stake. Division between normative and descriptive (more naturalistic approach) is misguided by bad question form - question that arise from stronger form of replacement thesis, that I will try to reject and accept weaker form. If my endeavours show to be correct, epistemology should not fear that it will be replaced by descriptive psychology.
If the thesis under discussion is true, the psyhology of belief acquisition and epistemology are two different fields which ask different, but equally legitimate questions.

Chair: Jakob Eichler
Time: 14:00-14:30, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.004

Petar Nurkic 
(University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Masters thesis: Cognitive Aspects of Naturalising Epistemology

Testability and Meaning deco