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Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate Unfashionable Essays

by Susan Haack

  • ISBN: 9780226311364
  • ISBN10: 0226311368

Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate Unfashionable Essays

by Susan Haack

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780226311364
  • ISBN10: 0226311368
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Description: 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.

Haack's goal in these essays is to get beyond fads, fashions, obfuscations and false dichotomies to the central and most essential questions -- whether there is such a thing as truth, whether honest inquiry is possible or desirable, whether there is a real difference between knowledge and propaganda. There is, Haack argues; but serious inquiry is difficult and demanding, evidence can be ambiguous or misleading, and what passes for truth is sometimes false. Staking out the reasonable middle ground between fashionable extremes, Haack explores how the terms of cultural debate have shifted. How did the sexist stereotypes deplored by old-fashioned feminists come to be celebrated as "women's ways of knowing"? How was the admirable goal of tolerance of cultural diversity transformed into relativism or tribalism? How did we lose sight of the ways in which science differs from literature, and philosophy from both? How did it come to be thought naive to care about truth or to value intellectual honesty? And why is pseudo-inquiry so ubiquitous in the present intellectual climate?

Astringent and immensely entertaining, Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate is sharply critical as well as thoughtfully constructive. Vigorous as well as rigorous, this call to arms is sure to provoke -- and to inspire.

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