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Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, and Rene van Woudenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190462758.001.0001

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Kinds of Knowledge, Limits of Science

Kinds of Knowledge, Limits of Science

(p.190) 8 Kinds of Knowledge, Limits of Science

Jeroen de Ridder

Oxford University Press

Does scientific knowledge have limits? This chapter tries to answer this question by first investigating the distinct nature of scientific knowledge, as contrasted with other kinds of knowledge. Two plausible proposals are considered: scientific knowledge as high-grade knowledge and scientific knowledge as objectifying knowledge. The chapter then investigates what these two proposals entail for the question of whether scientific knowledge is limited. It turns out that, on both proposals, there are in-principle limits to what can be known scientifically. This spells trouble for any forms of scientism denying this.

Keywords:   scientific knowledge, limits of science, high-grade knowledge, foundationalism, Ernest Sosa, objectifying inquiry, Bas van Fraassen

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