There are, Susan Haack says, two opposing schools of thought about science: the New Cynics, as she calls them, who believe science is a shabby social construct of the ruling class, and the Old Deferentialists, who believe science has a uniquely rational method of reaching the truth. Her plan is to steer a middle course between the two. She pursues this plan across a wide field of issues, a much broader spectrum than is found in traditional philosophy of science or sociology of science books—including, for example, expert scientific evidence in law as well as old chestnuts like religion and science. She writes throughout with the verve of her Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate (1998), and with attention to well-chosen and short examples of real science. She shares with us many juicy aperçus from her reading. One will not soon forget her recurrent use, as a diagnostic tool for some of the less sane pronouncements of the irrationalists, of J....

 

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