Vincent Hendricks, mainstream and formal epistemology [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 69 (3):427-432 (2008)
As Vincent Hendricks remarks early on in this book, the formal and mainstream traditions of epistemic theorising have mostly evolved independently of each other. This initial impression is confirmed by a comparison of the main problems and methods practitioners in each tradition are concerned with. Mainstream epistemol- ogy engages in a dialectical game of proposing and challenging definitions of knowledge. Formal epistemologists proceed differently, as they design a wide variety of axiomatic and model-theoretic methods whose consequences they investigate independently of the need of giving counterexample-free definitions of knowledge. Or at least, this is a common way to explain where both disciplines stand in the larger landscape of epistemic theorising, and why interactions between them remain scarce. The main ambition of this book is to show that the distinction between formal and mainstream approaches should not preclude a fruitful interaction, and that it only takes the right outlook on their respective practices to disclose plenty of room for interaction.
Keywords formal epistemology  mainstream epistemology  forcing
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-008-9130-1
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