“[t]here is no way now, and none in prospect, of integrating all the sciences, much less all of anyone’s everyday factual beliefs, into a single coherent system”.
“some underlying property, or structure of more elementary components, common to [all] hot things”.
“deep structural features of the elementary components of things determine the boundaries of natural, as opposed to merely nominal or conventional, kinds”.
“thinks of knowledge in very much the way the scientific realist thinks of heat: beneath the surface diversity there is structural unity”.
“It doesn’t follow from this that the various items given a positive rating add up to anything like a natural kind.”
Explanation or Deflation: Truth
Snow is white.
“Snow is white” is true.
theories of knowledge
theories of the concept of knowledge
“arrange themselves into broad, theoretically coherent classes according to certain natural relations of epistemological priority”.
“In both science and ordinary life, constraints on justification are many and various. Not merely that, they shift with context in ways that are probably impossible to reduce to rule. In part, they will have to do with specific content of whatever claim is at issue. But they will also be decisively influenced by the subject of inquiry to which the claim in question belongs (history, physics, ornithology, etc.). We call these topical or…disciplinary constraints.”
“An examination of ordinary practices of justification strongly suggests…[that they] are at least topic-relative, which is to say determined in part by the subject under discussion.”
“Hume’s offhand suggestion that only carelessness and inattention save us from a permanent, debilitating awareness of the truth of scepticism, hence from lapsing into a state of chronic, paralysing doubt”.
“The questions that we raise and our doubts depend on the fact that some propositions are exempt from doubt, are as it were like hinges on which those turn. That is to say, it belongs to the logic of our scientific investigations that certain things are indeed not doubted.…We just can’t investigate everything…If I want the door to turn, the hinges must stay put.”
a proposition’s epistemic status
a proposition’s truth (or falsehood).