‘Does Epistemic Naturalism vindicate Semantic Externalism?’- An Episto-semantical Review’

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The paper concentrates on how the acceptance of radical naturalism in Quine’s theory of meaning escorts Quine to ponder the naturalized epistemology. W.V. Quine was fascinated by the evidential acquisition of scientific knowledge, and language as a vehicle of knowledge plays a significant role in his regimented naturalistic theory anchored in the scientific framework. My point is that there is an interesting shift from epistemology to language (semantic externalism). The rejection of the mentalist approach on meaning vindicates external that somehow pave the way for ‘semantic holism’, a thesis where the meaning of a sentence is defined in turns to the totality of nodes and paths of its semantic networks where the meaning of linguistic units depend upon the meaning of the entire language. I would like to relook on Quine’s heart-throbbing claim about the co-extensiveness of the sentential relation and the evidential relation that point towards an affirmation of meaning holism and semantic externalism. Besides, the knowledge of acquaintance that relinquishes the singular thought from the account of psychological consideration and self-knowledge hypothesis copes up with the testimonial and warrant knowledge entangling by the claims of social knowledge as anticipated by Alvin Goldman. My conclusion would be nearer to the stance of semantic externalism inculcated by the social knowledge (in an epistemic sense) and semantic holism.

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Sanjit Chakraborty
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata


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