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)
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.
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.
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)
For some time, it seemed that one had to choose between two sharply different theories of epistemic justification, foundationalism and coherentism. Foundationalists typically held that some beliefs were certain, and, hence, basic. Basic beliefs could impart justification to other, non-basic beliefs, but needed no such support themselves. Coherentists denied that there are any basic beliefs; on their view, all justified beliefs require support from other beliefs. The divide between foundationalism and coherentism has narrowed lately, and Susan Haack attempts to synthesize (...) these competing accounts into a view she calls "foundherentism.". (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)
Is truth in the law just plain truth - or something sui generis? Is a trial a search for truth? Do adversarial procedures and exclusionary rules of evidence enable, or impede, the accurate determination of factual issues? Can degrees of proof be identified with mathematical probabilities? What role can statistical evidence properly play? How can courts best handle the scientific testimony on which cases sometimes turn? How are they to distinguish reliable scientific testimony from unreliable hokum? These interdisciplinary essays explore (...) such questions about science, proof, and truth in the law. With her characteristic clarity and verve, Haack brings her original and distinctive work in theory of knowledge and philosophy of science to bear on real-life legal issues. She includes detailed analyses of a wide variety of cases and lucid summaries of relevant scientific work, of the many roles of the scientific peer-review system, and of relevant legal developments. (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)
“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)
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.
This book has three main parts. The first, longer, part is a reprint of the author's Deviant Logic, which initially appeared as a book by itself in 1974. The second and third parts include reprints of five papers originally published between 1973 and 1980. Three of them focus on the nature and justification of deductive reasoning, which are also a major concern of Deviant Logic. The other two are on fuzzy logic, and make up for a major omission of Deviant (...) Logic. (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)
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)
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)
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)
The reformist philosophy of the classical pragmatist tradition has gradually evolved into the now-fashionable revolutionary styles of pragmatism, some scientistic, some literary. This evolution is traced from Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead, through Schiller, Lewis, Hook,and Quine, to Rorty’s literary-political neo-pragmatism. Rather than get hung up on the question of which variants qualify as authentic pragmatism, it is better — more fruitful, and appropriately forward looking— to ask what we can learn from the older tradition, and what we can salvage (...) from the new. (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)
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)
Part of an early version of this paper was read at the University of Warwick in October 1977, and a later version was read at the Newcastle Royal Institute of Philosophy in November 1977 and at Aberystwyth and Oxford in early 1978. Thanks are due to the many colleagues and friends who made helpful comments on early drafts; special thanks to Hugh Mellor, Rita Nolan and Paul Weiss for detailed written criticisms, and to Don Locke, for very helpful discussions.
Reflections on the contrast between the titles of Popper’s Objective Knowledge and Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge led Haack to explore how Polanyi’s ideas might be used to correct some of the distortions caused by Popper’s refusal to allow any role in epistemology to the knowing subject, and thus to throw light on such questions as the relations between the knower and the known, between epistemology and psychology and sociology of knowledge, and between subjectivity and objectivity. Key words: epistemology; philosophy of science; (...) Karl Popper; Michael Polanyi; knowing subjects; personal judgment. (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)
'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)
The pragmatist tradition in epistemology initiated by Peirce has, I believe, proved a particularly fruitful one. And since Peirce’s work in the theory of knowledge was motivated, to a considerable extent, by his radical opposition to the Cartesian tradition, a close study of the early papers in which Peirce offers a comprehensive critique of Cartesian epistemology promises to be philosophically as well as historically rewarding.
After a brief sketch of the history of philosophical pragmatism generally, and of legal pragmatism specifically (section 1), this paper develops a new, neo-classical legal pragmatism: a theory of law drawing in part on Holmes, but also on ideas from the classical pragmatist tradition in philosophy. Main themes are the "pluralistic universe" of law (section 2); the evolution of legal systems (section 3); the place of logic in the law (section 4); and the relation of law and morality (section 5).
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 ….
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)
Peer review and publication is one of the factors proposed in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as indicia of the reliability of scientific testimony. This Article traces the origins of the peer-review system, the process by which it became standard at scientific and medical journals, and the many roles it now plays. Additionally, the Author articulates the epistemological rationale for pre-publication peer-review and the inherent limitations of the system as a scientific quality-control mechanism. The Article explores recent changes in (...) science, in scientific publishing, and in the academy that have put the system under strain. The Author argues that Justice Blackmun's advice to courts - that peer-reviewed publication is relevant, but is not dispositive - is of little practical help. Instead, the Author suggests questions that courts should ask in assessing the significance of the fact that testimony is, or is not, based on peer-reviewed publication and illustrates with reference to another Bendectin case, Blum v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where some of these questions were asked. (shrink)