Epistemological split

August 27, 1999

Paul Gross and Mark Bauerlein (THES, August 6) chide me for trying to identify some middle ground between two contrasting epistemologists, Susan Haack and Sandra Harding. My offence is neither to endorse Haack wholeheartedly nor condemn Harding out of hand.

I certainly plead guilty to declining to see the debate between realism and constructivism in the Manichean terms prescribed by some in the United States.

My review makes it clear where I part company with Harding. A close look at her new book, however, suggests a significant softening of her position ý so perhaps Gross should take heart that even those who believe that "science is social" can be saved.

Bauerlein's assertion that I fail to articulate the arguments of either book is simply wrong, though I concede I devote more to one author than the other.

Whether my whether they are just ones with which he happens to disagree, readers can judge.

Jon Turney Science and technology studies University College London.

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