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Epistemological Behaviorism, Nonconceptual Content, and the Given

Epistemological Behaviorism, Nonconceptual Content, and the Given Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 165­189 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Matthew Burstein Debates about nonconceptual content impact many philosophical disciplines, including philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of language. However, arguments made by many philosophers from within the pragmatist tradition, including Quine, Sellars, Davidson, Rorty, and Putnam, undercut the very role such content purportedly plays. I explore how specifically Sellarsian arguments against the Given and Rortian defenses of "epistemological behaviorism" undermine standard conceptions of nonconceptual content. Subsequently, I show that the standard objections to epistemological behaviorism inadequately attend to the essentially social and practical nature of justification. Debates about the nature of justification ­ in particular, those concerning whether knowledge has a foundation ­ have influenced our thinking about such disparate fields as ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind. Traditionally, foundationalist epistemologies have sought to find some "ultimate" ground for belief. Empiricist-minded foundationalists, in particular, have argued that this ground must in some sense be perceptual. A recent turn for such foundationalists has been the attempt to argue that the best way to account for epistemic foundations is to appeal to "nonconceptual content" in perception. Foundationalists of the sort I'm interested in provide an account http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Epistemological Behaviorism, Nonconceptual Content, and the Given

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 7 (1): 165 – Apr 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000161
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 165­189 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Matthew Burstein Debates about nonconceptual content impact many philosophical disciplines, including philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of language. However, arguments made by many philosophers from within the pragmatist tradition, including Quine, Sellars, Davidson, Rorty, and Putnam, undercut the very role such content purportedly plays. I explore how specifically Sellarsian arguments against the Given and Rortian defenses of "epistemological behaviorism" undermine standard conceptions of nonconceptual content. Subsequently, I show that the standard objections to epistemological behaviorism inadequately attend to the essentially social and practical nature of justification. Debates about the nature of justification ­ in particular, those concerning whether knowledge has a foundation ­ have influenced our thinking about such disparate fields as ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind. Traditionally, foundationalist epistemologies have sought to find some "ultimate" ground for belief. Empiricist-minded foundationalists, in particular, have argued that this ground must in some sense be perceptual. A recent turn for such foundationalists has been the attempt to argue that the best way to account for epistemic foundations is to appeal to "nonconceptual content" in perception. Foundationalists of the sort I'm interested in provide an account

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2010

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