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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

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FREITAS, Renan Springer de. Hume's revenge. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2000, vol.15, n.42, pp.23-38. ISSN 1806-9053.

Alexandre Koyré has named the scientific revolution of the XVIIth century as Plato's revenge. The author suggests that the XXth century saw a similar, if much less spectacular, revenge, that of Hume's naturalism. By Hume's naturalism he means the view that every conceivable epistemological project is doomed to failure since there is nothing to be said about knowledge with the exception of what can result from an inquiry into the origins of people's beliefs. In this century, this view echoed in the thoughts of Dewey and Wittgenstein, and culminated in Bloor's "strong sociology of knowledge", in Rorty's wittgensteinian pragmatism, and in Latour's "symmetrical anthropology". He argues that these different versions of humean naturalism lie in a predarwinian conception of knowledge, which should profitably be replaced with a genuine Darwinian view.

Palavras-chave : Scientific knowledge; Wittegensteinian pragmatism; Symmetrical anthropology; Evolutive epistemology.

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