Several significant questions have been raised concerning the project of naturalizing epistemology W. V. O. Quine advanced in his paper, “Epistemology Naturalized.” For example, “Can normative elements be incorporated into such epistemology?”, or “May hypotheses be tested on the basis of (theory-neutral) observation (sentences) as the repository of evidence?” In this paper, I intend to pose to this philosophical project certain other serious problems, to which, as far as I know, due attention has not yet been paid. First, I show the outline of the beginning of naturalized epistemology (1), and I point out two central concepts in this new epistemology, rejection of the transcendental viewpoint and adoption of the internal viewpoint in epistemology (2). Secondly, I examine a method of naturalized epistemology, methodological monism, which I call “moderate scientism” (3). Thirdly, I consider the relation of naturalized epistemology to holism. I show that the internal point of view is distinct from verificationist holism (4). In the next two sections, tasks of this new epistemology are explained, based on Quine's arguments (5), and serious problems in Quine's project of naturalizing epistemology are pointed out (6). In the following sections, I trace Quine's development of the philosophy of mind, insofar as it concerns the subject matter of this paper (7, 8). In the concluding section, I suggest the direction toward which naturalized epistemology should go (9).
The argument is re-examined that the program of deriving the rule for the state change caused by a measurement from the Schrödinger equation holding for the object-apparatus composite system falls into a vicious circle or an infinite regress called the von Neumann chain. It is shown that this argument suffers from a physical inconsistency concerning the causality between the process of reading of the outcome in the apparatus and the state change in the measured object caused by the measurement. A consistent argument which accomplishes the above program without falling into the circular argument is presented.