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Evidence Inquiry : Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology - Susan Haack

Evidence Inquiry

Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology


Published: 9th January 1995
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In this important new work, Haack develops an original theory of empirical evidence or justification, and argues its appropriateness to the goals of inquiry. In so doing, she provides detailed critical case studies of Lewis's foundationalism: Davidson's and Bonjour's coherentism: Popper's 'epistemology without a knowing subject': Quine's naturalism: Goldman's reliabilism: and Rorty's, Stich's, and the Churchlands' recent obituaries of epistemology.

."philosophers will enjoy Haack's verve, and profit from her manyinsights." Jonathatn Vogel, Amherst College, Book Reviews

"This book is at once a fine introduction and a significantcontribution to contemporary epistemology. In addition toelaborating and persuasively defending a position of her own whichadroitly steers between the Scylla of apriorism and the Charybdisof scientism, Haack discusses and makes powerful and highlydetailed criticisms of the views of a range of contemporaryphilosophers - Sir Karl Popper, W. V. O. Quine, Richard Rorty, Alvin Goldman, and Paul and Patricia Churchland, among others -criticisms to which these philosophers and their numerous admirerswill have to reply." Hilary Putnam, Harvard University

"In summary, the book presents a good critical examination ofrecent work in epistemology. Even if one questions the adequacy ofHaack's justification of foundherentism, the theory deservescareful examination." Daniel E Flage, James Madison Universityfor The Review of Metaphysics

"This book lives up to its subtitle. It includes a powerful andvaluable critique of recent epistemology, meticulouslydistinguishing theses which are often merged; and it argues for atheory of justification which is strongly coherentist but allowsfor empirical input." Australasian Journal of Philosophy

"Susan Haack here offers a new look at traditional theory ofknowledge. She knows the subject well and proposes reasonable andoriginal solutions to its problems. The book is forceful andrefreshing and very much worth the attention of anyone who isinterested in epistemology." Roderick M. Chisholm, BrownUniversity

"I read Susan Haack's book with both pleasure and profit. Itcontains a uniquely thorough critique of standard epistemologicaltheories and of more recent attempts (eg. Rorty's) to discredit, orreplace, the whole analytical enterprise. The failures oftraditional foundationalist and coherence accounts are plainlydisplayed and a satisfying synthesis of the legitimate elements inboth is achieved. The whole is done with an exemplary clarity."Sir Peter Strawson, Magdalen College, Oxford

"Susan Haack's book is a most impressive contribution to therecent revival of epistemology. It is at once comprehensive - bothin the range of problems that it deals with and in the wealth ofrecent discussion that it examines - and judicious - in the carewith which things often confused are discriminated and with whichconclusions are kept firmly in touch with the reasons that supportthem. Susan Haack's demolition of various forms of fashionablerelativism is admirably effective. I was pleased to discover that Ihave, without realizing it, always been some kind offoundherentist." Anthony Quinton, Trinity College, Oxford

"It is likely to be the theory that will carry epistemology intothe 21st century." Peirce Project Newsletter, Summer1995

"The entire book is a model of clear analysis and rigorousargument, but this latter critique is also entertaining becauseHaack directs sharp wit as well as sharp arguments against today'sphilosophical avant-garde." John Greco, FordhamUniversity

"Susan Haack's Evidence and Inquiry: Towards Reconstructionin Epistemology is a wide-ranging, lively, and provocativecontribution to recent epistemology." Richard Feldman, Mind

"Professor Haack has humour and commonsense, both well displayedin her chastisements of Steven Stich and Richard Rorty in Chapter9, 'Vulgar Pragmatism: An Unedifying Prospect, ' and - more gently-in other obligatory putdowns of rival theorists..." WallaceMatson, Reason Papers

" Susan Haack is a philosopher of great distinction, one of theworld's leading experts in logic and the theory of knowledge"National Review



1. Foundationalism versus Coherentism: The Dichotomy Disclaimed.

2. Foundationalism Undermined.

3. Coherentism Discomposed.

4. Foundherentism Articulated.

5. The Evidence of the Senses: Refutations and Conjectures.

6. Naturalism Disambiguated.

7. The Evidence Against Reliabilism.

8. Revolutionary Scientism Subverted.

9. Vulgar Pragmatism: An Unedifying Prospect.

10. Foundherentism Ratified.


Bibliography of Works Cited.


ISBN: 9780631196792
ISBN-10: 063119679X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 9th January 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.22  x 2.13
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 1