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Philosophy Speakers: Susan Haack (Miami), "Credulity and Circumspection: Epistemological Character and the Ethics of Belief"

Date & Time:
September 11, 2015 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Social Sciences Building, Room 1253

About the Talk

The purpose of this paper is, first, to get clear about what credulity is, and why it’s an epistemological vice (§1); then, to explore the various forms this vice takes, including its perhaps surprising manifestation as a form of scientism (§2); next, to suggest why credulity poses dangers not only to individuals, but also to society at large—including, specifically, the legal system and the academy (§3); and, finally, to sketch some ways to curb credulity and foster circumspection in ourselves and others, especially our students (§4). In the process it will take up issues about the nature of  belief, the determinants of the quality of evidence, synechism, science, scientism, testimony, expertise, and evidence-sharing as well as questions about the ethics of belief and the demands of education.

About the Speaker

Susan Haack is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law at the University of Miami.  Her work ranges from philosophy of logic and language, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, pragmatism--both philosophical and legal--and the law of evidence, especially scientific evidence, to social philosophy, feminism, and philosophy of literature.  Her books include Philosophy of Logic; Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism; Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate; Defending Science--Within Reason; Pragmatism, Old and New: Putting Philosophy to Work. Her most recent book, Evidence Matters: Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law, appeared in 2014 from Cambridge University Press.   

Susan Haack's webpage at University of Miami

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