THE CHARACTERIZATION OF EPISTEMOLOGY IN PHILIP KITCHER* A CRITICAL REFLECTION FROM NEW EMPIRICISM

in Scientific Realism and Democratic Society
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text

Subject Highlights

Abstract

While the earlier work of Philip Kitcher, in particular The Advancement of Science (1993), continues to inform his more recent studies, such as Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001), there are significant “changes of opinion” from those articulated in the 1990s. One may even speak of two different stages in the configuration of epistemological proposals. An analysis, from an empiricist standpoint, of the shifts between one and the other indicates further evolution towards realist positions but much more modest ones than those previously endorsed. Kitcher qualifies former individualism with an ensuing defence of pluralism, vital to his effort to develop a social epistemology. The present centrality of the achievement of a well-ordered science, one that promotes the common good within the context of democracies, encapsulates recent variation in the work of Kitcher and may be considered one of the author’s most defendable proposals, even including its classically empiricist resonance.