The problem with cognitive and moral psychology

Footnotes to Plato

quine William Quine

William Quine, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, famously thought that there was no discontinuity between philosophy and the natural sciences. Indeed, he went so far as to suggest that epistemology, for instance, will eventually become a branch of psychology.

I think he was seriously mistaken. While it is certainly true that there are continuities and reciprocal positive interactions between the sciences and philosophy, the two are fairly clearly distinct enterprises. Proof can easily be found in Quine’s own papers: I am a scientist as well as a philosopher, and every single one of his paper that I came across looks nothing at all like a science paper, but instead is very much written in an unmistakably philosophical style.

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