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Perception, Empiricism, and Pragmatist Realism

Perception, Empiricism, and Pragmatist Realism conceptual schemes. 1. Despite the impressive scientific accomplishments of the previous century, we are today less than ever inclined to take knowledge for granted. Gone is the faith in unproblematic epistemological givens, in a secure foundation of infallible protocol sentences unequivocally derived from experiential data; equally gone is the initial confidence of simplistic falsificationism. This is a good sign: it indicates that an advanced understanding of our epistemic practices is not likely to give comfort to philosophical utopias and, conversely, to the extreme forms of skepticism that tend to mushroom when these utopias fail. However, it does set before us a task of figuring out anew a viable theory of perception's function in knowledge. As I take it, most of us still believe that (at least some) perceptual experiences have a special role to play in our efforts to understand the world and ourselves within it. For pragmatists working within the realist vein, this is a high-stakes issue, both strategically and substantively. On the side of the substantive challenge, pragmatists believe that the meaning of our statements is supposed to be ultimately expressed in terms of their publicly verifiable consequences, and that in order to advance, our beliefs http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Perception, Empiricism, and Pragmatist Realism

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 8 (1): 191 – Apr 21, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000190
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

conceptual schemes. 1. Despite the impressive scientific accomplishments of the previous century, we are today less than ever inclined to take knowledge for granted. Gone is the faith in unproblematic epistemological givens, in a secure foundation of infallible protocol sentences unequivocally derived from experiential data; equally gone is the initial confidence of simplistic falsificationism. This is a good sign: it indicates that an advanced understanding of our epistemic practices is not likely to give comfort to philosophical utopias and, conversely, to the extreme forms of skepticism that tend to mushroom when these utopias fail. However, it does set before us a task of figuring out anew a viable theory of perception's function in knowledge. As I take it, most of us still believe that (at least some) perceptual experiences have a special role to play in our efforts to understand the world and ourselves within it. For pragmatists working within the realist vein, this is a high-stakes issue, both strategically and substantively. On the side of the substantive challenge, pragmatists believe that the meaning of our statements is supposed to be ultimately expressed in terms of their publicly verifiable consequences, and that in order to advance, our beliefs

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2011

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