Taylor in his “Philosophical Arguments,” Harvard University Press,
1995, p. 12:
shows the whole epistemological construal of knowledge to be mistaken.
It doesn’t just consist of inner pictures of outer reality, but
grounds in something quite other. And in this ‘foundation,’ the crucial move of the
epistemological construal–distinguishing states of the subject (our
‘ideas’) from features of the external world–can’t be effected.
We can draw a neat line between my picture
of an object and that object, but not between my dealing with the object and that object. It may make sense to ask us to focus on what we believe
about something, say a football, even in the absence of that thing; but
when it comes to playing football, the corresponding suggestion would be absurd.
The actions involved in the game can’t be done without the
object; they include the object. Take
it away and we have something quite different–people miming a game on
the stage, perhaps.”
"When we turn to the famous, now classic critiques of
epistemology, we find that they have, in fact, mostly been
attuned to this interpenetration of the scientific and the
moral. Hegel, in his celebrated attack on this tradition in the
introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit, speaks of a
'fear of error' that 'reveals itself rather as fear of the
truth,' and he goes on to show how this stance is bound up with
a certain aspiration to individuality and separateness, refusing
what he sees as the 'truth' of subject-object identity.
Heidegger notoriously treats the rise of the modern
epistemological standpoint as a stage in the development of a
stance of domination to the world, which culminates in
contemporary technological society. Merleau-Ponty draws more
explicitly political connections and clarifies the alternative
notion of freedom that arises from the critique of empiricism
and intellectualism. The moral consequences of the devastating
critique of epistemology in the later Wittgenstein are,
naturally, less evident. Wittgenstein was strongly averse to
making this kind of thing explicit. But those who have followed
him have shown a certain affinity for the critique of
disengagement, instrumental reason, and atomism.
"It is safe to say that all these critics were largely
motivated by a dislike of the moral and spiritual consequences
of epistemology and by a strong affinity for some
alternative." "Overcoming Epistemology," Charles
Taylor, in After Philosophy: End or Transformation?, K.
Baynes, J. Bohman, & T. McCarthy, MIT Press, 1987, pp.