Epistemology: Who Needs It

Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 3 (2015): 1-15

University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-5

17 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2016

See all articles by Susan Haack

Susan Haack

University of Miami - School of Law; University of Miami - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This reflection on the real-world relevance of epistemological ideas begins with the thought that all of us — when we wonder what to make of newspaper reports of supposed medical breakthroughs, of failures of military intelligence, etc., etc. — call, implicitly or explicitly, on epistemology; and shows how an understanding of, e.g., the differences between genuine inquiry and advocacy research, the nature of wishful and fearful thinking, and the material character of the relevance and its bearing on what relevant evidence we may be missing, can illuminate the ways in which inquiry can go wrong and evidence can mislead us.

Keywords: epistemology, inquiry, wishful thinking, J. S. Mill, C. S. Peirce, Donald Rumsfeld, evidence, relevance

Suggested Citation

Haack, Susan, Epistemology: Who Needs It (2015). Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 3 (2015): 1-15; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712479

Susan Haack (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305-284-3541 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

University of Miami - Department of Philosophy ( email )

P.O. Box 248054
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4670
United States

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