Quine’s Naturalized Epistemology and the Issue of Knowledge Productivity

Omotosho I.F.


Since Locke, empiricism has sought to deduce the knowledge of the world in one way or the other from sense experience. The aim of this episiemology has been twofold; to justify and deduce the truth of nature from sensory evidence and to define those truths in terms of observation and logico mathematical auxiliaries. The chief aim of which is to attain absolute certainly in our knowledge of the world. However, Ouine observes that this attempt of normative or traditional epistemology to provide a foundation of science has failed because all efforts of the empiricist philosophers have not been productive. Quine concludes on this basis that traditional epistemology can never produce knowledge or criterion of knowing. He therefore calls for the abandonment of traditional epistemology on the basis that it cannot produce knowledge. This paper examines his arguments for the claim that traditional epistemology is unproductive and can never produce knowledge. The paper reveals that the call is untenable as his leap from "It has not" to ' 'it cannot" is unjustifiable. The paper reveals further that it is the aim of traditional epistemology to justify science from sense experience and so far it is in the business of doing this, one can say it is productive.

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/40-03

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