In order for a naturalized account of epistemology to be taken seriously by the philosophic community, it must address questions raised by the skeptic. Since W.V. Quine’s essay in 1969 entitled “Epistemology Naturalized,” the naturalized project has been marked both by bold claims that the traditional project has failed and that the problems a naturalized project potentially faces are not problems of concern. Instead of addressing these potential problems head on, attempts to advance the naturalized project since Quine have largely masked their language, consequently disguising the boldness of their separation. In an essay entitled “Against Naturalized Epistemology,” Laurence BonJour brings to light the shortcomings of the naturalized project while heavily criticizing Quine. Further, BonJour criticizes the contemporary naturalist Philip Kitcher. BonJour persuasively argues that Quine has failed to offer cogent reasons for abandoning the traditional project in favor of a naturalized project, while maintaining that Quine has also failed to offer a viable alternative. Further, BonJour argues that Kitcher’s reasons for psychologizing epistemology are innocuous. Finally, BonJour outlines an argument that concludes that the abandonment of a priori justification leads to epistemological “disaster.” While BonJour’s arguments are at times convincing, they are not wholly successful. It shall be the purpose of this paper to refute the crux of BonJour’s arguments, while at the same time attempting to resolve the problems he claims a naturalized project faces. It is only after these problems have been addressed directly that a complete naturalized epistemology can be developed.

Included in

Philosophy Commons