Real Knowing: New Versions of the Coherence Theory

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Overview

"Real" knowing always involves a political dimension, Linda Martín Alcoff suggests. But this does not mean we need to give up realism or the possibility of truth. Recent work in continental philosophy insists on the influence that power and desire exert on knowing, whereas contemporary analytic philosophy largely ignores these political concerns in its accounts of justification and truth. Alcoff engages these traditionally conflicting approaches in a constructive dialogue, effectively spanning the analytic/continental divide.In provocative readings of major figures in the continental tradition, Alcoff shows that the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Michel Foucault can help rectify key problems in coherence epistemology, such as the link between coherence and truth. She also argues that discussions about knowledge among continental philosophers can benefit from the work of analytic philosophers Donald Davidson and Hilary Putnam on meaning and ontology. Alcoff makes a compelling case for the need to address truth as a metaphysical issue, in contrast to minimalist tendencies in Anglo-American philosophy and deconstructionism on the continent. Her work persuasively argues for coherentist epistemology as a more realistic reconfiguration of the ontology of truth.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a timely contribution to a fast-growing body of research in 'social epistemology,' a field drawing the attention of philosophers, sociologists of knowledge, social constructionists, and others."—James Wong, Hypatia

"A truly impressive scholarly achievement. For those who are interested in seeing how Gadamer and Foucault connect with Davidson and Putnam, Real Knowing is a rewarding and illuminating read."—Matthias Steup, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

"Real Knowing is a fine advertisement for having continental philosophy be heard on issues that are sometimes still thought to be the preserve of Anglo-American philosophers. More important still, her brand of 'social epistemology' shows the political import of what are often taken for merely theoretical issues. I look forward to the debates that this book will provoke."—Robert Bernasconi

"Real Knowing is exciting, important, and extremely well written. The prose is clear and fluid, and the author is adept at taking notions that are notoriously vague and making their sense in her arguments clear."—Lynn Hankinson Nelson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801474811
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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