Hilary Kornblith

Hilary Kornblith is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vermont.

  • Naturalizing Epistemology, Second Edition

    Naturalizing Epistemology, Second Edition

    Hilary Kornblith

    The second edition of Naturalizing Epistemology has been updated and expanded to include seven new articles that take up ongoing debates in the field. As with the first edition, it explores the interaction between psychology and epistemology and addresses empirical questions about how we should arrive at our beliefs, and whether the processes by which we arrive at our beliefs are the ones by which we ought to arrive at our beliefs. The new material includes a critical examination of Quine's views on epistemology by Jaegwon Kim and an interesting psychological approach to our understanding of natural kinds by Ellen Markman. In other new chapters Jerry Fodor places the notion of observation in a naturalistic perspective, Christopher Cherniak shows how work in the theory of computational complexity bears on the form of an epistemological theory, and Alvin Goldman looks at the relationship between our ordinary epistemological concepts and those of a scientific epistemol­ogy. The prospects for improving our inductive inferences are examined by John Holland, Keith Holyoak, Richard Nisbett, and Paul Thagard, and Stephen Stich suggests a way in which normative concepts may be integrated into a naturalistic epistemology. The book retains articles by W. V. 0. Quine, Alvin I. Goldman, Hilary Kornblith, Philip Kircher, Michael Friedman, Fred Dretske, Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross, Gilbert Harman, and Stephen P. Stich.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $40.00
  • Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground

    Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground

    An Essay in Naturalistic Epistemology

    Hilary Kornblith

    Hilary Kornblith presents an account of inductive inference that addresses both its metaphysical and epistemological aspects. He argues that inductive knowledge is possible by virtue of the fit between our innate psychological capacities and the causal structure of the world.

    Kornblith begins by developing an account of natural kinds that has its origins in John Locke's work on real and nominal essences. In Kornblith's view, a natural kind is a stable cluster of properties that are bound together in nature. The existence of such kinds serves as a natural ground of inductive inference.Kornblith then examines two features of human psychology that explain how knowledge of natural kinds is attained. First, our concepts are structured innately in a way that presupposes the existence of natural kinds. Second, our native inferential tendencies tend to provide us with accurate beliefs about the world when applied to environments that are populated by natural kinds.

    • Hardcover $6.75
    • Paperback $4.75