Naturalized Epistemology Introduction The question for certainty and truth has long been part of humanity’s quest for answers to some basic questions that people normally possess. Perhaps, some of these questions may include how do I know that I know x? At first glance, the questions appear to be rhetorical…
This implies that ‘x’ is in such context or state that the possibility of ‘x’ being known is increased. Finally, third, the question of certainty, which is highlighted by the question by the question ‘how do I know that I know x? In the face of such questions, can it be hold that certainty is something that eludes humanity since the basis for the certainty of what people may claim to know is not stable and solid. In fact, some modern philosophers have asserted the supposition that maybe there is an evil demon that is playing a trick on us making people believe that x can be known when in fact, it is not. Nonetheless, what is vital in this scenario is that epistemology has been considered as humanity’s response to uncertainty as presented by the malum genie. In this sense, epistemology has become field that sought to eliminate uncertainty by providing the solid ground wherein one may claim with certainty that one has a knowledge of X. Is this quest of epistemology significant? Coming from a common perspective, the certainty of what we may claim to know is vital in the relationship with our claims regarding the world and the ensuing empirical claims, in which, scientific knowledge is claimed to be anchored. Unfortunately, epistemology is still in the process of discourse how can people justify what they claim they know even if the ultimate goal of epistemology is to provide the certainty that what proceeds from our claims about the world are in fact rooted in that experienced of the world. In this condition, Quine argues for the futility of the epistemological quest for certainty and affords a re-framing of epistemology, belief, justification and knowledge. In this regard, this paper have the following structure. The first part of the paper will deal with the arguments raise by Quine against the epistemological goal of certainty and his proposal regarding what ought to be done to epistemology. Meanwhile, the second part deals with the criticisms against Quine’s position. The third part will be the exposition of the researcher’s view regarding the debate. Finally, the last section is the conclusion. Hopefully, in the end a clearer understanding of both sides is attained. On Quine Quine’s counter-arguments regarding achieving certainty through epistemology is grounded on the position that Arithmetic itself, which has long been considered as certain because of its deductive method has been proven to be incomplete by Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem (71). Creating a parallel argument, Quine claims that since arithmetic itself which is considered as certain because of the rigors of deduction has been proven to be incapable of being grounded or fully justified, how much more is epistemology whose knowledge claims are built on induction. This is a very important criticism against the certainty of epistemology which is grounded on induction and the “Humean Predicament” is the counter –arguments against induction. This asserts that no theory can be derived from mere observation. Primarily because there is no way that the validity of the observation is transferred to the theory derived from it. In the same sense, Quine is raising the argument that if arithmetic itself is something that cannot be validly deduced from the theorems themselves, which is already a close system, how much more are the epistemological claims made about the world. In this regard, both conceptual reduction and doctrinal reduction are ...
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