© 2012, Jason Poettcker


The current debates between Naturalists and Non-Naturalists about epistemology are difficult to navigate because there are so many forms of naturalism and non-naturalism and many different issues debated over. This paper will first attempt to explain and define what I think are the basic naturalist and non-naturalist positions on epistemology. Then it will compare the epistemology of three naturalists Quine, Hilary Kornblith, Jeagwon Kim with a non-naturalist/theist, Alvin Plantinga, to see if my formulation of the debate stands. I am making two separate claims: First, that one’s methodology will affect or determine one’s ontology. Second, that the main issue between naturalist and non-naturalist epistemologists is that naturalists are committed to the natural sciences as the only methodology for discovering what exists. On the other hand, most non-naturalists do not restrict their methodology to only the natural sciences, but allow for various methodologies applied to various modes of inquiry to investigate and discover different aspects of reality.

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