Rescuing Reason: A Critique of Anti-Rationalist Views of Science and Knowledge

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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 28, 2003 - Philosophy - 559 pages
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Do knowledge and science arise from the application of canons of rationality and scientific method? Or is all our scientific knowledge caused by socio-political factors, or by our interests in the socio-political - the view of sociologists of "knowledge"? Or does it result from interplay of relations of power - the view of Michel Foucault? Or does our knowledge arise from "the will to power" - the view of Nietzsche? This volume sets out to critically examine the theses of those who would debunk the idea of rational explanation.

The book is wide-ranging. The theories of method of Quine, Kuhn, Feyerabend (amongst others) are discussed and related to the views of Marx, Foucault, Wittgenstein and Nietzsche as well as sociologists of science such as Mannheim and Bloor. The author provides a wide interpretative framework which links the doctrines espoused by many of these authors; it is argued that they inherit many of the difficulties in the Strong Programme in the sociology of "knowledge", and that they fail to reconcile the normativity of knowledge with their naturalism. It is argued that neither relativists, sceptics, nihilists, sociologists of "knowledge" nor the postmodernists successfully debunk the claims of rational explanation, far from it: these theorists presuppose much of the theory of methodology they deny.

  

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Contents

THE CRITICAL TRADITION AND SOME OF ITS DISCONTENTS
19
12 Solving the Legitimation Problem
29
13 Some Dethroners of the Critical Tradition
35
14 Kuhn as Dethroner of the Critical Tradition?
49
15 The Anarchist Feyerabend as Dethroner of the Critical Tradition?
62
THE PROBLEM OF KNOWLEDGE
75
21 Knowledge Why Bother? The Problem of Platos Tether
76
22 Agrippas Problem for Knowledge as Justified True Belief
83
71 Ordinary Inference as Individual Capacity or Social Relation? A Refutation of the Causality Tenet
298
72 The Strong Programme and the Causes of Belief in Alternative Logics
305
73 Is the Hardness of the Logical Must Really the Softness of a Social Relation?
313
74 Wittgenstein on Logical Relations Practices Codifications and Form of Life
319
75 The Scientism of the Strong Programme and Wittgensteins AntiScientism in Philosophy
326
76 Communitarianism Meaning Finitism and the Strong Programme
336
77 Natural Kinds and Meaning Finitism
347
78 Sociology is a Way of Sending us to Sleep
354

23 Realism and the Definition of Knowledge
90
24 Some Social Aspects of Knowledge
102
NATURALISM AND NORMS OF REASON AND METHOD
117
31 Quines Naturalized Epistemology
118
32 Varieties of Naturalism
124
33 Some Norms of Science and Epistemology
128
Mapping the Terrain
132
35 Naturalism and Normative AntiObjectivism
140
36 Folk Scientific Rationality
147
RamseyLewis Definition
156
38 The Supervenience of the Methodologically Normative on the NonNormative
162
SYNOPSIS OF PART II
175
SOME GERMAN CONNECTIONS MARX AND MANNHEIM
179
41 Marx and the Sociology of Science and Scientific Knowledge
181
42 Mannheim and the Sociology of Science and Scientific Knowledge
192
43 Merton and Norms for the Ethos of Science
199
THE EDINBURGH CONNECTION I THE STRONG PROGRAMME AND THE SOCIAL CAUSES OF SCIENTIFIC BELIEF
205
52 Social and NonSocial Factors in Belief Causation
211
53 The Causality Tenet and a Social Cause Model of Explanation Within the Strong Programme
216
54 The Causality Tenet and the Rational Explanation of Scientific Beliefs by Methodological Principles of Science
222
55 Social and Political Interests as Causes of Belief
231
Acausality and Weimar Physicists
236
Bloor on the Social Causes of Boyles Beliefs about Matter
242
58 Sociological Laws and the Causality Tenet
249
59 Causality Causal Dependence Explanation and a Reformulation of the Causality Tenet
252
510 An Unnatural Naturalization
256
THE EDINBURGH CONNECTION II STRONG AND WRONG
261
62 The Impartiality Tenet
268
63 The Symmetry Tenet
274
64 The Reflexivity
285
65 Relativism and the Strong Programme
289
THE WITTGENSTEIN CONNECTION THE SOCIAL AND THE RATIONAL
297
SYNOPSIS OF PART III
363
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG THROUGH FOUCAULTS TEXTS
365
81 Foucault on Knowledge
368
82 Foucault on Discourse and the Identity Conditions for Statements and Discourses
376
83 Rules for the Formation of Concepts and Strategies
387
the Case of Madness
392
85 Realism and Nominalistic AntiRealism about Objects and Kinds
398
86 The Contextualist Theory of Meaning and Ersatz Objects
405
87 The Individuation of Sentences and Discourses Once More
409
88 A Reflexive Paradox in Foucaults Theory of Discourse
412
GENEALOGY POWER AND KNOWLEDGE
417
91 The Cause of Discourse Discontinuity
418
92 The Emergence of Power as The Cause
419
93 Power
423
94 PowerKnowledge
431
95 Six Criticisms of the PowerKnowledge Doctrine
445
96 Brief Comments on Foucaults Talk of Truth
457
SYNOPSIS OF PART IV
463
NIETZSCHES GENEALOGY OF BELIEF AND MORALITY
465
101 The Metaphysical Conception of the Will to Power
468
102 The Will to Power as the Leading Hypothesis of an Explanatory and Reductive Programme
478
103 Nietzches Naturalism and Ordinary Objects
481
104 The Genealogy of Belief in Substantive Objects and in Logic
485
105 The Genealogy of Belief and Truth
497
106 The Genealogy of Belief in Truth and the Ascetic Ideal
503
Psychosocial History as Fiction or Reality?
516
108 Addendum on Nietzches Genealogical Project
530
EPILOGUE
539
References
543
Name Index
555
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Robert Nola is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland and the author of Rescuing Reason.

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