5.21.2002

There was a problem with the Blogger site and my entry for this morning was lost. Let me try to reconstruct. Epistemology is always sterile. It is a bankrupt enterprise that is best relegated to the history of philosophy or as a lesson on how not to make an argument. Epistemology does not create anything; rather, it is designed to bolster the authority of philosophy against onslaughts by religion first, and then science. A claim to privileged access to occult sources of knowledge does not engender an ethical course. Instead the claim can be used to support the philosopher's authority to prescribe an ethical course of action. This is the function of epistemic claims in Plato's Republic, for example. Notice the claims to knowledge do not occur at the beginning of the text. Instead the line and the cave appear in Books 6 and 7 to justify what has been constructed. For Pragmatists and Wittgenstein, epistemology is nothing more than philosophy's claim to intellectual ascendency and its ability to judge what counts as knowledge in the University (Kant). Once philosophy eliminates epistemology it will become a more useful voice in human inquiry.

The Sass book raised a lot of interesting questions regarding solipsism for me too.

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