restricted access On Classical Pragmatist Foundations in Naturalized Epistemology

The naturalized epistemologist’s appeals to classical pragmatist epistemology are often used to justify (1) the rejection of idealized accounts of truth and (2) the acceptance what Putnam (2002) refers to as the “collapse of the fact/value dichotomy.” This paper takes a closer look at both of these appeals to pragmatism with the aim of showing that neither relies on a correct reading of the literature. The hope here is that some clarification of the classical pragmatist literature will alleviate concerns contemporary epistemologists have about adopting a more robust pragmatist epistemology, and, specifically, a more robust pragmatist “truth-talk.” This paper ends with a discussion of Philip Kitcher’s attempts to shed light on the pragmatist theory of truth in his 2012 book, Preludes to Pragmatism: Toward a Reconstruction of Philosophy. However, I leave it as an open question whether Kitcher successfully captures the role of metaphysics in classical pragmatist “truth-making.”