THE PRINCIPLE OF CHARITY: IS THE COGNITIVE AGENT WORTH TRUSTING?

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Printsip miloserdiya: zasluzhivaet li doveriya sub"ekt poznaniya?
Author(s): 
Ilya Kasavin
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No. 2 (Vol. 36)
Pages: 
5-15
Abstract: 

The principle of charity (a principle of rational accommodation, a principle of humanity) is broadly discussed in the analytical philosophy of language as a prerequisite of understanding and communication (W. Quine, D, Davidson). It represents a kind of epistemic trust in the common abilities of the knowing agent and common cognitive situation. In contrast to this, the skeptical tradition rooted in Descartes puts an accent on the critical doubt as a main epistemological tool. The clash between the epistemological optimism (realism) and skepticism (relativism) generates a significant problem situation for those who endorse “fact-objectivism” and reject the social-epistemological vision of the cognitive agent.

Keywords: 
charity, epistemic trust, realism, fact-objectivism, rule following, relativism, social epistemology, Quine, Davidson
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