Both the educated layman and the philosopher are likely to consider epistemology to be fundamental. How do you know what is so? An evolutionary perspective puts a much different light on the nature of epistemology, and how it is practiced. Epistemology is seen as a means to survival, which is the ultimate goal. Ziliak explores the notion that science is to know only to the extent that it helps us make wise decisions. Epistemology is thus only a means to an end and must be judged by how it supports that end.

Eugene Wigner commented on the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. I broaden that to note the unreasonable effectiveness of logic in epistemology in its support of survival. Quoting Wigner:

I do not claim to have such an explanation, but merely to point out that it says something about the universe we find ourselves in. If you like the anthropic principle then perhaps it says that a ‘logical’ universe is necessary for observers, but that begins to be circular.

And then there is Feynman’s dictum that a theory is no better than its predictions. What place are we to make for knowledge? Is this the best pedestal that we can find to place our theories on?

Fish reports on Deconstruction vs. Bacon.

Similar note

The Cyber World of Authority

Coming to Believe