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Реферат On modern and post-modern epistemology


By Alexander Koudlai

Epistemology is a theory of knowledge or the whole field of such theories in philosophy which are meant to increase our understanding of the term and of the phenomena. Examining anything and everything we should collect all possible reflections and choose the most agreeable of them to our soul, those which give us better understanding of ourselves, the world and the process of "knowing" of internal, external and mixed reality. This exanimation is done in solitude and in dialogues with friends and interlocutors, in reading of monologues of other thinkers who also very often examine other thinkers to the best of their abilities. Some of us are better than others, meaning more talented to such activities, and those produce better theories or choose the better ones from the archives of ancient and modern history. Each of us adds something, even if only in terms of new examples or small original generalizations. And if we do it, ie, read, listen, think and propose it reveals our love of knowledge , even if we do not know exactly what knowledge is. As Socrates said in Symposium , those are lovers who do not possess the object of their love. And lack of knowledge (about knowledge) is a sign of our imperfection, but we are constantly in the dynamic state of seeking, as history tells us, for already 25 centuries (and, I suspect, longer); and it is very unlikely that prophecies of people like Nietzsche, E. Mach, Quine or Rorty about the end of epistemology or philosophy will ever come true. Those people, like many others, excited by some new ideas, often of scientific origin, were just carried away at certain times, like somebody who fell in love with somebody new, and forgot his first love for the time. For true philosopher his true love actually never ends, and we would do better taking more care in valuing and respecting it. Nowadays the world is too excited about everything external, material: clothes, make-ups, professional escorts, entertainments, scientific magazines, prices, prizes, diplomas and awards; it looses itself in pleasures and pains and worships of new idols that would quench its cravings and fears. Many celebrities appear and disappear with all that noisy clamor, and very often they have all their awards, degrees and positions. But Socrates did not have PHD, neither did Shakespeare; and still they are popular, at least among men of sense, while not many of the new writers will survive their physical death. Quine liked to justify sensual knowledge of the world in contrast to any other paradoxical or a priori knowledge saying that the former helped us to survive. Why the same argument cannot be used for evaluation of those theories and authors who survived many centuries?

Of course, those great thinkers like Plato and Euclid were criticized, but everybody will be, if he is any good. In the process of such criticism we learn more about philosophy and our knowledge, as well as the ways of its acquirement and sometimes see the validity of the old ideas in the new light. I intend to criticize Quine and Rorty, as well as the authors of the Modern Epistemology , Everitt and Fisher. p> I will argue in favor of TE (Traditional Epistemology) and Foundationalism against NE (New Epistemology) and Coherentism, as opposed to the former.

Everitt and Fisher write:

Since there are no such foundations , It is right to put epistemological tradition on one side. However if we accept that coherence among our beliefs is the best we can hope for. . . there is still much theoretical work to be done ...

Quine argued that philosophy should give way to science ...

What has to be abandoned is the search for certainty. What is left is the need to make sense of our experience . . . this will take more than science alone. . . beliefs are justified by their coherence with other beliefs and that justification is essentially public and social. . . traditional philosophers have to take a back seat! (207-208)

It seems that human mind cannot understand the world without foundations . Even the image of the web or wigwam Quine proposed play the role of a foundation for understanding the concept of coherentism. This very concept itself plays the role of foundation for the whole theory of knowledge in this "new" fashion. E & F say "No foundations" and "it is right to put ..." it is an example of foundational and dogmatic thinking. "If we accept ... coherentism "it will inevitably turn into another foundation . It is a logical problem. If "philosophy should give way to science" what will deal with the meaning of its data? This will lead to a psychological problem. p> The fascination of science in the XIX and XX century already affec...

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