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The Embedded Epistemologist

I was startled to read, in the 6th edition of a well-known textbook, McCormick on Evidence, that the “reasonable doubt” formula “points to what we are really concerned with, the state of the jury’s mind,” whereas “preponderance of the evidence” and “clear and convincing evidence” “divert attention to the evidence.” This has things exactly backwards:…

Academic Hacks

The pun of the headline was unintended. Anyway, here is a short interview with Susan in Psychology Today — BTW, I highly recommend her Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate. The quote below captures the bind that befalls many humanities academics and is therefore a major driver of their hackery — ostrich-ism: So, in the crudest career terms, yes,…

The vanity of cleverness

The deliciously scathing Susan Haack on the “vanity of cleverness“ At dinner the night before I was to give a talk in her department, a young professor solemnly told me that there’s no place for humor in serious philosophy. The serious philosopher must indeed work in earnest–but not in grim earnest. Charles Sanders Peircehumourphilosophical humorPhilosophysusan haack

Does science have all the answers?

The eminently sensible and intellectually honest Susan Haack — an  evidence-based philosopher who rightly rejects the epistemic immodesty characteristic of the prevailing rationalistic arrogance of philosophers and scientists. Philosophy for such folk is about what to think and not about how to think: whatever else might be attributed to liberalism, it has primarily embodied the idea that conceptions…

Susan Haack — Passionate Moderate

Susan Haack is one of my absolutely favourite living (and still very active) philosophers. The appellation Passionate Moderate had such deep resonance from the moment I read her eponymously titled book. (This is a great book to read if you are coming to formal philosophy for the first time: Susan writes without ever being “jargony” or condescending…

Culture wars revisited

Michael Lynch and Alan Sokal enagage in a most civil dialogue: Defending Science: An Exchange. Readers might also be interested in Susan Haack’s Defending Science-Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism and James Robert Brown’s Who Rules in Science?: An Opinionated Guide to the Wars – two cracking reads – and both past contributors to EPISTEME. Alan SokalChristian fundamentalismChristianityDavid HumeEpistemologyGodMICHAEL LYNCHReason