Quote for the Day – Susan Haack on Black Ravens and Narrow-minded Philosophy of Science

Compared with real-life evidence for real-life scientific claims, the old preoccupation with “this is a raven and this is black,” and its relation to “all ravens are black,” looks astonishingly simple and one-dimensional. Still, you may wonder if I have anything to say about black ravens, red herrings, grue emeralds, and all that; and you deserve an answer. In brief: such puzzles are artifacts of the narrowly logical conceptions of evidence, warrant, and confirmation that I have been contesting; they evanesce with the recognition that supportiveness of evidence is not a purely formal matter, but depends on the substantial content of predicates, their place in a mesh of background beliefs, and their relation to the world.

~Susan Haack, Defending Science – Within Reason, p. 83


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