Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Open University December philosophy seminar

Dr Luca Sciortino (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds)
‘Styles of Thinking and Epistemic Relativism’

2pm December 2nd 2015
Meeting Room 5, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

Abstract
In the 1980s Ian Hacking put forward the ‘styles project’, as he called it, whose central idea is that there exist distinct styles of thinking which have emerged in the course of the history of science. This paper points at a potential tension between Hacking’s entity realism and his styles project. I argue that realism about unobservable entities is a case in which a scientific claim is justified for a community that adopts a certain style and unjustified for a community that adopts another style. I conclude that Hacking’s styles project implies epistemic relativism.

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