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Mind, Meaning, and KnowledgeThemes from the Philosophy of Crispin Wright$
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Annalisa Coliva

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278053.001.0001

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Objectivity, Explanation, and Cognitive Shortfall

Objectivity, Explanation, and Cognitive Shortfall

(p.211) 8 Objectivity, Explanation, and Cognitive Shortfall
Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge

Stewart Shapiro

Oxford University Press

The chapter addresses some of Wright’s main theses in his widely influential Truth and Objectivity. According to Wright, objectivity is not a univocal concept. There are different notions or axes of objectivity, and a given chunk of discourse can exhibit some of these and not others. The purpose of this chapter is to explore aspects of two of these axes, cognitive command and the width of cosmological role. In both cases, we quickly run up against a sort of Kant/Waismann/Quine perspective. We have to explore the extent to which we can sort out the aspects of our best theories, explanations, and, indeed, statements, that are tied to human interests, perspectives, and judgements, and the parts that are tied to the way the world is, independent of said interests, perspectives, and judgements. We also encounter delicate issues in epistemology and the philosophy of science along the way.

Keywords:   objectivity, Quine, Waismann, Kant, cognitive command, width of cosmological role, underdetermination of theory by data

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