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Summary Of A Priori Warrant

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A False Advertisement of A Priori Warrant: Goldman’s Moderate Naturalism

Alvin I. Goldman in his essay “A Priori Warrant and Naturalistic Epistemology” (1999) claims to have demonstrated the manner in which naturalistic epistemology may be reformulated so that it may accommodate a priori warrant. Unlike the conceptions of empirical naturalism and scientific naturalism sprouted by Quine in “Epistemology Naturalized”, which both seem exclusive of any kind of a priori knowledge or justification, Goldman argues that this conception of the a priori, on the contrary, will be compatible with a priori warrant. Nevertheless, I would be uneasy in accepting that the account of a priori warrant that Goldman leaves us with in the end may be considered” …show more content…

Be that as it may, he immediately stresses his steadfast reluctance to accept this association, as he contends that naturalistic epistemology (or rather, moderate naturalistic epistemology) is indeed quite compatible with a priori knowledge and justification (Goldman 1). Goldman briefly reminds us of what two other stronger, yet quite different versions of naturalistic epistemology claim. On the one hand, scientific naturalism, he explains, holds that “[e]pistemology is a branch of science [where the] statements of epistemology are a subset of the statements of science, and the proper method of doing epistemology is the empirical method of science” (Goldman 2). On the other hand, empiricist naturalism claims that “All justification arises from empirical methods [and the] task of epistemology is to articulate and defend these methods in further detail” (Goldman 3). In his attempt to construct a more comprehensive, milder version of the two, Goldman’s own formulation of moderate naturalism is, as he states, a “fusion” of the two previous versions of naturalism. This reformulation consists of two components: (A) “All epistemic warrant of justification is a function of the psychological (perhaps computational) processes that produce of preserve belief”, and (B) “The epistemological enterprise needs appropriate help from science, especially the science of the mind” (Goldman

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