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, Haack 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.
The first systematic exposition of all the central topics in the philosophy of logic, Susan Haack's book has established an international reputation for its accessibility, clarity, conciseness, orderliness, and range as well as for its thorough scholarship and careful analyses. Haack discusses the scope and purpose of logic, validity, truth-functions, quantification and ontology, names, descriptions, truth, truth-bearers, the set-theoretical and semantic paradoxes, and modality. She also explores the motivations for a whole range of non-classical systems of logic, including many-valued logics, (...) fuzzy logic, moddal and tense logics, and relevance logics. Persupposing only an elementary knowledge of formal logic, this book includes many useful summary tables and diagrams, as well as a helpful glossary of technical terms. Wide-ranging, informative, and eminently readable, this book has proven a valuable resource for generations of students and scholars in a variety of disciplines outside philosophy needing guidance on the philosophy of logic. (shrink)
As the English word “scientism” is currently used, it is a trivial verbal truth that scientism—an inappropriately deferential attitude to science—should be avoided. But it is a substantial question when, and why, deference to the sciences is inappropriate or exaggerated. This paper tries to answer that question by articulating “six signs of scientism”: the honorific use of “science” and its cognates; using scientific trappings purely decoratively; preoccupation with demarcation; preoccupation with “scientific method”; looking to the sciences for answers beyond their (...) scope; denying the legitimacy or worth of non-scientific (e.g., legal or literary) inquiry, or of writing poetry or making art. (shrink)
Initially proposed as rivals of classical logic, alternative logics have become increasingly important in areas such as computer science and artificial intelligence. Fuzzy logic, in particular, has motivated major technological developments in recent years. Susan Haack's Deviant Logic provided the first extended examination of the philosophical consequences of alternative logics. In this new volume, Haack includes the complete text of Deviant Logic , as well as five additional papers that expand and update it. Two of these essays critique fuzzy logic, (...) while three augment Deviant Logic 's treatment of deduction and logical truth. Haack also provides an extensive new foreword, brief introductions to the new essays, and an updated bibliography of recent work in these areas. Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic will be indispensable to students of philosophy, philosophy of science, linguistics, mathematics, and computer science, and will also prove invaluable to experienced scholars working in these fields. (shrink)
It is often taken for granted by writers who propose--and, for that matter, by writers who oppose--'justifications' of inductions, that deduction either does not need, or can readily be provided with, justification. The purpose of this paper is to argue that, contrary to this common opinion, problems analogous to those which, notoriously, arise in the attempt to justify induction, also arise in the attempt to justify deduction.
We need to find a middle way between the exaggerated deference towards science characteristic of scientism, and the exaggerated suspicion characteristic of anti-scientific attitudes — to acknowledge that science is neither sacred nor a confidence trick. The Critical Commonsensist account of scientific evidence and scientific method offered here corrects the narrowly logical approach of the Old Deferentialists without succumbing to the New Cynics' sociologism or their factitious despair of the epistemic credentials of science.
Forthright and wryly humorous, philosopher Susan Haack deploys her penetrating analytic skills on some of the most highly charged cultural and social debates of recent years. Relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, affirmative action, pragmatisms old and new, science, literature, the future of the academy and of philosophy itself—all come under her keen scrutiny in Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate.
In 1880, when Oliver Wendell Holmes (later to be a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) criticized the logical theology of law articulated by Christopher Columbus Langdell (the first Dean of Harvard Law School), neither Holmes nor Langdell was aware of the revolution in logic that had begun, the year before, with Frege's Begriffsschrift. But there is an important element of truth in Holmes's insistence that a legal system cannot be adequately understood as a system of axioms and corollaries; and (...) this element of truth is not obviated by the more powerful logical techniques that are now available. (shrink)
In many toxic-tort cases - notably in Oxendine v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and in Joiner v. G.E., - plaintiffs argue that the expert testimony they wish to present, though no part of it is sufficient by itself to establish causation "by a preponderance of the evidence," is jointly sufficient to meet this standard of proof; and defendants sometimes argue in response that it is a mistake to imagine that a collection of pieces of weak evidence can be any stronger (...) than its individual components. This article draws on the epistemological theory I first presented in 1993 in Evidence and Inquiry, and then amplified and refined in 2003 in Defending Science - Within Reason. This theory of evidence shows that, under certain conditions, a combination of pieces of evidence none of which is sufficient by itself really can warrant a casual conclusion to a higher degree than any of its components alone. When my account is applied to the very complex congeries of evidence typically proffered to prove general causation in these toxic-tort cases, it improves on the influential "Bradford Hill criteria" for assessing causation; and it suggests answers to questions frequently raised in such cases: e.g., whether epidemiological evidence is essential for proof of causation, and whether such evidence should be excluded if it is not statistically significant. Moreover, the argument of this paper reveals that by obliging courts to screen each item of expert testimony individually for reliability, the atomism implicit in Daubert will sometimes stand in the way of an accurate assessment of the worth of complex causation evidence. (shrink)
Quine's naturalized epistemology is ambivalent between a modest naturalism according to which epistemology is an a posteriori discipline, an integral part of the web of empirical belief, and a scientistic naturalism according to which epistemology is to be conducted wholly within the natural sciences. This ambivalence is encouraged by Quine's ambiguous use of science, to mean sometimes, broadly, our presumed empirical knowledge and sometimes, narrowly, the natural sciences. Quine's modest naturalism is reformist, tackling the traditional epistemological problems in a novel (...) way; his scientistic naturalism is revolutionary, requiring restriction and reconceptualization of epistemological problems. In particular, his scientistic naturalism trivializes the question of the epistemic standing of the natural sciences, whereas modest naturalism takes it seriously, and can offer a plausible answer. (shrink)
There is one truth, but many truths: i.e., one unambiguous, non-relative truth-concept, but many and various propositions that are true. One truth-concept: to say that a proposition is true is to say (not that anyone, or everyone, believes it, but) that things are as it says; but many truths: particular empirical claims, scientific theories, historical propositions, mathematical theorems, logical principles, textual interpretations, statements about what a person wants or believes or intends, about grammatical and legal rules, etc., etc. But, as (...) Frank Ramsey once said, “There is no platitude so obvious that eminent philosophers have not denied it”; and as soon as you ask why anyone would deny that there is one truth-concept, or that there are many true propositions, it becomes apparent that my initial, simple formula disguises many complexities. (shrink)
“The most likely use for Haack’s volume will be in introductory pragmatism courses and it is eminently appropriate for this task. However, others who would wish to speak out about pragmatism authoritatively would do well to go through the book from cover to cover. Outside of philosophy, the volume provides an introduction to a vital aspect of what philosophy has to offer to other disciplines, psychology among them....it is hard to think what could have been done to improve upon the (...) collection.”. (shrink)
Because its business is to resolve disputed issues, the law very often calls on those fields of science where the pressure of commercial interests is most severe. Because the legal system aspires to handle disputes promptly, the scientific questions to which it seeks answers will often be those for which all the evidence is not yet in. Because of its case-specificity, the legal system often demands answers of a kind science is not well-equipped to supply; and, for related reasons, constitutes (...) virtually the entire market for certain fields of forensic science and for certain psychiatric specialties. Because of its adversarial character, the law tends to draw in scientists who are more willing than most to give an opinion on less-than-overwhelming evidence; and the more often such a witness testifies, the more unbudgeably confident he may become in his opinion. Legal rules can make it impossible to bring potentially useful scientific information to light, and the legal penchant for “indicia” and the like can transform scientific subtleties into legal shibboleths. And because of its concern for precedent, and the desideratum of finality, the law sometimes lags behind scientific advances. (shrink)
In ordinary circumstances, we can assess the worth of evidence well enough without benefit of any theory; but when evidence is especially complex, ambiguous, or emotionally disturbing—as it often is in legal contexts—epistemological theory may be helpful. A legal fact-finder is asked to determine whether the proposition that the defendant is guilty, or is liable, is established to the required degree of proof by the [admissible] evidence presented; i.e., to make an epistemological appraisal. The foundherentist theory developed in Evidence and (...) Inquiry can help us understand what this means; and reveals that degrees of proof cannot be construed as mathematical probabilities: a point illustrated by comparing the advantages of a foundherentist analysis with the disadvantages of probabilistic analyses of the evidence in the Sacco and Vanzetti case (1921), and of the role of the statistical evidence in Collins (1968). (shrink)
What is called legal pragmatism today is very different from the older style of legal pragmatism traditionally associated with Oliver Wendell Holmes; and there is much that is worthwhile on the conception of the law revealed by reading Holmes's The Path of the Law in the light of the classical pragmatist tradition of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Here, reflections on the varieties of pragmatism - philosophical and legal, old and new - will be wrapped around an exploration of Holmes's legal (...) philosophy and the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments. (shrink)
Forthright and wryly humorous, philosopher Susan Haack deploys her penetrating analytic skills on some of the most highly charged cultural and social debates of recent years. Relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, affirmative action, pragmatisms old and new, science, literature, the future of the academy and of philosophy itself—all come under her keen scrutiny in _Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate_. "The virtue of Haack's book, and I mean _virtue_ in the ethical sense, is that it embodies the attitude that it exalts... Haack's voice (...) is urbane, sensible, passionate—the voice of philosophy that matters. How good to hear it again."—Jonathan Rauch, _Reason_ "A tough mind, confident of its power, making an art of logic... a cool mastery."—Paul R. Gross, _Wilson Quarterly_ "Few people are better able to defend the notion of truth, and in strong, clear prose, than Susan Haack... a philosopher of great distinction."—Hugh Lloyd-Jones, _National Review_ "If you relish acute observation and straight talk, this is a book to read."—_Key Reporter_ "Everywhere in this book there is the refreshing breeze of common sense, patiently but inexorably blowing."—Roger Kimball, _Times Literary Supplement_ "A refreshing alternative to the extremism that characterizes so much rhetoric today."—_Kirkus Reviews_. (shrink)
Introduction -- Foundationalism versus coherentism : a dichotomy disclaimed -- Foundationalism undermined -- Coherentism discomposed -- Foundherentism articulated -- The evidence of the senses : refutations and conjectures -- Naturalism disambiguated -- The evidence against reliabilism -- Revolutionary scientism subverted -- Vulgar pragmatism : an unedifying prospect -- Foundherentism ratified -- Selected essays -- "Know" is just a four-letter word -- Knowledge and propaganda : reflections of an old feminist -- "The ethics of belief" reconsidered -- Epistemology legalized : or, (...) truth, justice, and the American way. (shrink)
'Realism' is multiply ambiguous. The central concern of Part 1 of this paper is to distinguish several of its many senses -- four in which it refers to theses about the status of scientific theories, and five in which it refers to theses about the nature of truth or truth-bearers. Because 'Realism' has these several, largely independent, senses, the conventional wisdom that Tarski's theory of truth supports realism, and that the Meaning-Variance thesis undermines it, needs re-evaluation. The concern of the (...) rest of the paper is to sort out in which senses the conventional wisdom, with respect to Tarski's theory and the Meaning-Variance thesis , is correct. (shrink)
"Much truth is spoken, that more may be concealed," wrote Mr. Justice Darling in 1879. Opening with an articulation of the distinction between truth (the concept) and truths (particular true propositions), this paper is largely devoted to: -/- (1) developing an account of the dual meaning of "partially true" - "true-in-part" vs. "part of the truth"; and -/- (2) understanding the reasons for, and the dangers of, the very common tendency to tell only part of the relevant truth.
Abstract: This paper responds to the question posed in the announcement of the conference at Brooklyn Law School at which it was presented: if and how [the inquiry into the reliability of proffered scientific testimony mandated by Daubert] relates to 'truth,' and whose view of the truth should prevail. The first step is to sketch the legal history leading up to Daubert, and to explore some of the difficulties Daubert brought in its wake; the next, to develop an account of (...) truth in the sciences that combines a full acknowledgment of the fallibility and incompleteness of the scientific enterprise with a robustly objective conception of truth - which helps us understand why the legal system often gets less than the best out of science; and finally, exploring the concept of legal truth, to show how false scientific clams sometimes get entrenched as legally reliable. (shrink)
The many meanings of integrity are distinguished. This paper focuses specifically on how the concept of integrity in the sense of firm adherence to values applies to science qua institution. The most relevant values - the epistemological values of evidence-sharing and respect for evidence - are articulated, and shown to be rooted in the character of the scientific enterprise. This paves the way for an exploration of the circumstances that presently threaten to erode commitment to these core values: an exploration (...) illustrated by the disturbing saga of the arthritis drugs Vioxx and Celebrex. The paper concludes with an articulation of why the erosion of scientific integrity should concern us. (shrink)
Jeremy Bentham's powerful metaphor of Injustice, and her handmaid Falsehood reminds us, if we need reminding, that justice requires not only just laws, and just administration of those laws, but also factual truth - objective factual truth; and that in consequence the very possibility of a just legal system requires that there be objective indications of truth, i.e., objective standards of better or worse evidence... My plan [in this Olin Lecture in Jurisprudence, presented at Notre Dame law School, in October (...) 2004] is to sketch some epistemological themes of mine, and explore their bearing on two familiar, radical epistemological criticisms of our legal system: (i) that an adversarial system is an epistemologically poor way of determining the truth; and (ii) that exclusionary rules of evidence are epistemologically undesirable. Neither criticism, I shall argue, is decisive; both, however, throw harsh light on disturbing aspects of the way our adversarial system actually functions. (shrink)
It is the aim of this paper to show that [the theological argument from Divine omniscience] is not more than a needlessly (and confusingly) elaborate version of the argument for fatalism discussed by Aristotle in de Interpretatione 9, which, since its sole premise is the Principle of Bivalence, may conveniently be called the logical argument for fatalism. If this is right, if the theological premisses of the theological argument can be shown to be strictly irrelevant to the fatalist conclusion, then (...) it follows that it is pointless to try to avoid fatalism by modification of those theological premisses. (shrink)
Realism is multiply ambiguous. The central concern of Part 1 of this paper is to distinguish several of its many senses — four (Theoretical Realism, Cumulative Realism, Progressive Realism and Optimistic Realism) in which it refers to theses about the status of scientific theories, and five (Minimal Realism, Ambitious Absolutism, Transcendentalism, Nidealism, Scholastic Realism) in which it refers to theses about the nature of truth or truth-bearers. Because Realism has these several, largely independent, senses, the conventional wisdom that Tarski's theory (...) of truth supports realism, and that the Meaning-Variance thesis undermines it, needs re-evaluation. The concern of the rest of the paper is to sort out in which senses the conventional wisdom, with respect to Tarski's theory (Part 2) and the Meaning-Variance thesis (Part 3), is correct. (shrink)
Rehearing Daubert on remand from the Supreme Court, Judge Kozinski introduced a fifth "Daubert factor" of his own: that expert testimony is based on "litigation-driven science" is an indication that it is unreliable. This article explores the role this factor has played in courts' handling of scientific testimony, clears up an ambiguity in "litigation-driven" and some uncertainties in "reliable," and assesses the reasons courts have given for reading such research with suspicion. This analysis reveals that research that is litigation-driven in (...) the stronger of the two senses distinguished is inherently less likely to be evidentially reliable; but also that it is so hard to determine whether research is litigation-driven in this strong sense that this new Daubert factor is not as helpful as Judge Kozinski imagined. (shrink)
Women themselves, for the most part, think of themselves as the sensible sex, whose business it is to undo the harm that comes of men's impetuous follies. For my part, I distrust all generalizations about women, favourable and unfavourable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience.
A natural language is an organic living thing; and meanings change as words take on new, and shed old, connotations. Recent philosophy of language has paid little attention to the growth of meaning; radical philosophers like Feyerabend and Rorty have suggested that meaning-change undermines the pretensions of science to be a rational enterprise. Thinkers in the classical pragmatist tradition, however -Peirce in philosophy of science and, more implicitly, Holmes in legal theory- both recognized the significance of growth of meaning, and (...) understood how it can contribute to the progress of science and to the adaptation of a legal system to changing circumstances. This paper develops these insights, and illustrates them by reference to the growth of meaning of "DNA" from the identification of "nuclein" to the discovery of mtDNA almost a century later, and the growth of meaning of "the establishment of religion" in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution from its ratification in 1791 to the present day. Arguing that the growth of meaning can indeed contribute to rationality, it also shows why narrowly formal models are inadequate both to science and to law. Un lenguaje natural es una cosa viviente orgánica, y los significados cambian a medida que las palabras adoptan nuevas connotaciones y abandonan viejas. La filosofía del lenguaje reciente ha prestado poca atención al desarrollo del significado; filósofos radicales, como Feyerabend y Rorty han sugerido que el cambio de significado socava las pretensiones de la ciencia de ser una empresa racional. Pensadores en la tradición pragmatista clásica, sin embargo -Peirce en la filosofía de la ciencia y, más implícitamente, Holmes en la teoría del Derecho- reconocieron la importancia del desarrollo del significado y comprendieron cómo éste puede contribuir al progreso de la ciencia y a la adaptabilidad de un sistema jurídico a las circunstancias cambiantes. Este trabajo desarrolla estas ideas, y las ilustra por medio de una referencia a el desarrollo del significado de "ADN" desde la identificación de la "nucleína" hasta el descubrimiento del ADN mitocondrial casi un siglo más tarde, y el desarrollo del significado de "el establecimiento de una religión" en la Primera Enmienda de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos desde su ratificación en 1791 hasta la actualidad. Argumentando que el desarrollo del significado puede contribuir mucho a la racionalidad, también muestra por qué los modelos estrechamente formales son inadecuados, tanto para la ciencia como para el Derecho. (shrink)
The story I shall be exploring is certainly a disturbing one: a drug company funds a large-scale trial of its new AIDS therapy; when the results are unfavorable, the company tries to prevent their being published; when the researchers go ahead with publication anyway, the company seeks millions of dollars in damages; eventually, newspaper headlines tell us it gets zilch, but the arbitration proceedings are private, so beyond that we know - well, zilch; the same year, an action is filed (...) alleging that the firm had manipulated its stock price by misleading the public about the effectiveness of this drug; four years later, with this suit still pending, the company website affirms that previous clinical trials demonstrate the drug's effectiveness. Of course, when you look closely things are more complicated than they seem at first; and anyway, I don't want just to work up a good head of righteous indignation, but to offer you something with real theoretical backbone. So the plan is to sketch an account of what science is and does that suggests how and why the ways in which scientific work is funded can distort or even block its progress, to put this theory to work in the course of an analysis of the troubled history of the trials, clinical and legal, of Immune Response's AIDS drug, Remune, and to conclude with some thoughts about industrial sponsorship of scientific research in the universities. (shrink)
Popper welcomes Tarski's theory of truth as a vindication of the ‘objective or absolute or correspondence theory of truth’: -/- Tarski's greatest achievement, and the real significance of his theory for the philosophy of the empirical sciences, is that he rehabilitated the correspondence theory of absolute or objective truth … He vindicated the free use of the intuitive idea of truth as correspondence to the facts ….