Logos & Episteme

Volume 14, Issue 4, 2023

Mohammadreza EsmkhaniOrcid-ID
Pages 409-437

The Post-epistemological Inquiry and the Ultimate Fate of Philosophy.
A Critical Discussion

This essay examines the different fates of philosophy in Bloor’s and Rorty’s post-epistemological inquiries, tracing their sharp disagreement to their distinct conceptions of ‘naturalism’ and ‘language.’ To this end, the first section outlines their main reasons for overcoming the epistemologically-centered philosophy, as well as theirreassessments of key concepts such as objectivity. The second section draws a comparison between their proposed post-epistemological inquiries, i.e., Bloor’s empirically-informed ‘sociologism’ and Rorty’s pragmatist ‘conversationalism,’ emphasizing that while the former implies the ‘end’ of philosophy in a scientific culture, the latter proposes a ‘new role’ for philosophy in a conversational culture. The third section shows how, in contrast to Bloor’s dismissive attitude toward philosophy and the potential of intervocabulary discourse, which can chiefly be attributed to his scientific naturalism and his Wittgensteinian rule-governed view of language, Rorty’s conception of philosophy as a cross-cultural, conversational practice is enabled and sustained by his non-scientific naturalism coupled with his Davidsonian communicative view of language. Finally, as opposed to Rorty’s attempt to completely dismantle the ‘epistemology industry,’ the fourth section briefly explores the extent to which Bloor’s ‘theory’-oriented viewpoint is still affected by it.

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