Turning Back the Linguistic Turn in the Theory of Knowledge Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The so-called linguistic turn in philosophy intensified (rather than overcame) the rationalism that has haunted Western ideas about knowledge since antiquity. Orthodox accounts continue to present knowledge as a linguistic, logical quality, expressed in statements or theories that are well justified by evidence and actually true. Restating themes from the author's Knowledge and Civilization (2004a), I introduce an alternative conception of knowledge designed to overcome these propositional, discursive, logocentric presumptions. I interpret knowledge as a quality of artifacts. A surgical operation or a bridge may be as good examples of knowledge as any true scientific proposition or theory. I define the quality that marks an artifact as a work of knowledge as superlative artifactual performance. To explain knowledge in these terms is not to offer a metaphysical or epistemological theory of its essence or concept. Instead, I am explaining knowledge in terms of its good, its value, the human point of caring to know.

publication date

  • May 2007