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Naturalising Epistemic Norms through Humean Standards of Taste (2013-2014)

Author: CAMPBELL, Treasa
Field of study: Philosophy

This paper reflects on the possibility of expanding the normative options available within a naturalized epistemology using strands of thought that emerge in Hume’s account of the role of philosophical relations in causal judgments. Working within the confines of a naturalized action‑focused epistemology it will be demonstrated that standards of taste generate evaluative judgments regarding causal inference. Such judgments of taste are characterized as objective to the extent that they are fixed not merely within the individual but also in the community and are subject to evaluation against a steady and general point of view. This process attempts to moves beyond instrumental normativity and bestow these judgments with epistemic justification. In avoiding the positing of
irreducibly normative facts and properties it will be demonstrated that we can expand this account to the wider context of epistemic justification within a naturalized epistemology.

Keywords: Naturalism, normativity, Hume, standards of taste, inductive inference

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