Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Book Notes
Norman Leavitt deconstructs Steve Fuller.


Apollodorus said...

Ultimately, I'm almost as disgusted by Leavitt as I am by any supporter of ID or creation science. Perhaps predictably, any critique of the self-inflated narrative of Science as Enlightenment sends him into a reactionary mode so sharp that he is willing to dismiss whole disciplines of study: "literary theory, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, women’s studies, ethnic studies, and a long-standing Marxisant [sic] approach to sociology..." These are all "noxious weeds" for no other reason (apparently) than their shared critiques of the pretension that there is a thing called Science that uniquely provides us with the truth about reality. I'm sure that Leavitt has read widely in the various literature that criticizes scientific realism, whether it comes from those noxious weeds or from analytic philosophers as sober and sharp as Bas van Fraassen, Arthur Fine, or Hilary Putnam; or philosophers of science like Paul Feyerabend and Thomas Kuhn; not to mention the various approaches taken to the objectivity of the natural sciences by various 'continental' philosophers. There is, of course, a long tradition of ridiculing 'continental' philosophers without having read more than a dozen or so pages of any single 'continental' work, but nobody can accuse these other thinkers of obscurantism. I'm sure that Leavitt's readers at Skeptic were already more than certain that any philosopher who fails to be a hard-core realist about the natural sciences is just a noxious weed. But they should at least have the sense to stop calling themselves skeptics and start calling themselves dogmatic naturalists instead.

John Farrell said...

Yes, it can be hit or miss with Skeptic (often miss). Most of the items I get in their email newsletters are either promotional or links to videos of things they've already promoted before.

BTW, glad to have you visit, apollodorus.