© 2012 Anthony Bryson, David Alexander


In the last two decades, the greatest threat to armchair philosophy has been the natural kinds approach. On this view, philosophic theorizing should not be obsessed with the ideas of justice, goodness, and truth but should look outward to the world of objects to find these things. And if these things happen to be natural kinds, like kinds of rock or fish for instance, then clearly we should reject the armchair for the lab. The philosopher should leave the office and join the scientist out in the field. Philosophy should become a species of science. We attempt to defend traditional/armchair philosophy by examining Hilary Kornblith’s naturalistic methodological approach to epistemology. Among other things, we argue that Kornblith’s approach leads to some surprising, undesirable results (at least undesirable to the naturalist), one of which is that Kornblith cannot discount epistemic internalism as a viable contender in the search for the nature of knowledge. His methodology actually requires that we take epistemic internalism seriously.

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