Fallibilism, Objectivity, and the New Cynicism

Episteme 1 (1):35-48 (2004)
Nobody seriously doubts the possibility, or the usefulness, of finding things out; that is something we all take for granted when we inquire about our plane schedule, the state of our bank account, the best treatment for our child's illness, and so forth – a presupposition of the most ordinary, everyday looking into things as well as of the most sophisticated scientific research, not to mention of the legal system. Of course, nobody seriously doubts, either, that sometimes, instead of really looking into things, people fake, fudge, and obfuscate to avoid discovering unpalatable truths or having to give up comfortable tenets; that is something we all take for granted when we ask who paid for a reassuring study, who stands to gain from an Official Inquiry, which party an expert witness works for, and so on.Of late, however, radical feminists, multiculturalists, sociologists and rhetoricians of science, and a good many philosophers as well – though they look into questions about their plane schedules, bank accounts, medical treatments, etc., just like everyone else – profess to have seen through what the rest of us take for granted
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DOI 10.3366/epi.2004.1.1.35
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