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Philosophy Meets the Cognitive and Social Sciences

By Alvin I. Goldman

A Bradford Book





These essays by a major epistemologist reconfigure philosophical projects across a wide spectrum, from mind to metaphysics, from epistemology to social power. Several of Goldman's classic essays are included along with many newer writings. Together these trace and continue the development of the author's unique blend of naturalism and reliabilism. Part I defends the simulation approach to mentalistic ascription and explores the psychological mechanisms of ontological individuation. Part II shows why epistemology needs help from cognitive science - not only to evaluate cognitive agents but also to illuminate the practices of epistemic evaluators. Parts III and IV explain how philosophical projects can be reshaped through interchange with social science. An epistemological study of scientific activity exploits the economic paradigm, and philosophical tools are applied to analyze power in society.

Contents Mind and Metaphysics • Interpretation Psychologized • Metaphysics, Mind, and Mental Science • Cognition and Modal Metaphysics • Individual Epistemology • A Causal Theory of Knowing • Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge • What Is justified Belief? Strong and Weak justification • Psychology and Philosophical Analysis • Epistemic Folkways and Scientific Epistemology • Social Epistemology • Foundations of Social Epistemics • Epistemic Paternalism: Communication and Control in Law and Society • An Economic Model of Scientific Activity and Truth Acquisition (with Moshe Shaked) • Social Power • Toward a Theory of Social Power • On the Measurement of Power


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262071352 pp. | 9.1 in x 6.3 in


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262514484 pp. | 9.1 in x 6.3 in


  • An important collection of essays by one of our most distinguished philosophers, with his trademark of interdisciplinary emphasis. The section on Social Epistemology is especially worthwhile.

    William G. Lycan

    William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Philosophy

  • Alvin Goldman has been in the forefront of those who have been forging links between philosophy and the cognitive and social sciences. As far as epistemology is concerned he has been the leading figure. In addition to his very important book, Epistemology and Cognition, much of his work along these interfaces has taken the form of essays published in journals and in collections. Therefore the appearance of many of these essays in a single volume will be a great boon to those of us concerned with the interaction of philosophy the volume ranges over philosophy of mind, social epistemology, and social philosophy, as well as individual epistemology, thereby supplementing the emphasis on the latter in Epistemology and Cognition. The book will be an important resource to those of us working in these areas.

    William P. Alston

    Professor of Philosophy, Syracuse University

  • For a quarter century, Goldman's work has inspired thinkers of diverse persuasions in virtually every field of philosophy. The many classics in this collection remain fresh sources of insight, while the current investigations of cognitive processes and their philosophical significance break much new ground. The collection presents an exemplary course of philosophical development: creative, self-critical, usefully unpredictable, strongly coherent. The interconnections produced by bringing these essays together are illuminating and thought-provoking.

    Richard W. Miller

    Professor of Philosophy

  • Alvin Goldman is one of the most important philosophers now writing anywhere in the world, and this book brings together many of his seminal papers as well as some new ones. These have the same qualities that distinguish Goldman's work: lucidity, rigor, broad knowledge, and pursuit of major issues.

    Philip Kitcher

    Professor, University of California

  • This volume collects a number of Goldman's important older essays and includes nine newer pieces. There has been much discussion of naturalizing epistemology in recent years, and, more generally, of integrating philosophy more closely with psychology and the social sciences. Goldman has a unique perspective on how this integration should be carried out. The volume on the whole will bd valuable resource for people interested in the ways in which philosophy and the human sciences can interact.

    Stephen P. Stich

    Professor, Rutgers University