Dr. Susan Haack


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Summary Bio

Susan Haack was educated at Oxford (B.A., 1966, B.Phil. 1968), and Cambridge (Ph.D.,1972). Formerly a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge (1968-71), and then Lecturer (1971-6), Reader (1976-82), and Professor of Philosophy (1982-90) at the University of Warwick, U.K., she has taught since 1990 at the University of Miami, where she is presently Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law. In 1997-8 Haack was national Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professor of Philosophy. In the course of her career she has held visiting professorships at the University of Guelph (Canada), the University of Cape Town (South Africa), the University of Virginia, the Australian National University, the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Aarhus University (Denmark), and (in the faculty of laws) the University of Bologna.

Haack is the author of Deviant Logic; Philosophy of Logics; Evidence and Inquiry: Towards Reconstruction in Epistemolo­gy; Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism; Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate: Unfashionable Essays; and Defending Science -- Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism; and editor of  Pragmatism, Old and New: Selected Writings. She has also published numerous articles, in professional philosophy journals, in scientific publications including the International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences, Epidemiology, and The American Journal of Public Health, in legal journals such as the American Journal of Jurisprudence and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, in such general-interest magazines as The Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry, and in literary magazines including The Times Literary Supplement, Partisan Review, New Literary History, and The New Criteri­on

The distinction between deviant and extended logics that Haack articulated in her first book is still cited by writers in the field more than 30 years later; the book remains in print, now in a new, expanded edition. Haack's second book, Philosophy of Logics, contin­uously in print in English since 1978, and translat­ed into six languages from Portuguese to Korean, has long been valued for its scope and clarity by students and teachers not only in philosophy but also in linguistics, psychology, etc.. This book is cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, on the logical meaning of "vari­able."  

With Evidence and Inquiry, Haack turned her attention to a new field: epistemology. This book has already appeared in Spanish and, early in 2005, in Chinese. Here Haack presents a new theory of evidence, "foundh­erentism." The new term, and the new theory, is now represented in the Dictionary of Modern Thought published jointly by Fontana and Norton; several chapters of the book have been anthologized -- including one in a volume edited by Baroness Warnock, Women Philosophers, "from Anne Conway in the seventeenth century to Susan Haack in the twentieth"; and Haack's paper summarizing the key ideas of foundherentism has been anthologized half-a-dozen times. The crossword analogy on which Haack relied in this book to articulate the structure of evidence has been found helpful not only by philosophers, but also by economists, medical scientists, and legal scholars.   

With Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate, Haack brought her analytic skills to bear not only on issues in metaphysics and philosophy of language, but also on issues of public concern such as multi­culturalism and feminism, the state of the academy – and on the future of philosophy itself. A Portuguese translation of this book is under contract.  

In Defending Science -- Within Reason -- which Publishers' Weekly describes as offering "one thought-provoking discussion after another" and the New Scientist as "analytical and colorful, learned and fun" -- Haack has continued to expand her range as she tackles not only questions about scientific evidence and scienti­fic method but also the relation of science to literature, the tensions between science and religion, the role of scientific testimony in court, and predic­tions of the end of science.  This book has been used in a seminar at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics, and by the members of the Leverhulme Evidence Project; and was the subject of a lecture series Dr. Haack gave in the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City in the summer of 2005.  A Chinese edition is under contract.

Haack’s newest book, Pragmatism, Old and New (with associate editor Robert Lane) appeared in early spring 2006. A volume of essays on her work (with her replies) entitled Susan Haack: A Lady of Distinctions, is  scheduled for later in 2006.

Haack's 1977 paper tracing Kantian elements in Carnap's Aufbau is now acknowledged as having broken new ground. Another piece from the same year appeared in Spanish transla­tion twenty years later in a volume of new work on Peirce and Popper, and is now acknowledged as a pioneering paper on this topic. Two 1978 pieces of hers on topics in metaphys­ics were reprinted in a recent anthology; and Haack's critique of fuzzy logic, first published in 1979, is still cited and requested by electri­cal engineers. Among her more recent papers, several, besides the foundherentist piece mentioned earlier, have been reprinted, anthologized, and translat­ed: among them "Knowledge and Propaganda: Reflections of an Old Feminist,"  “Staying for an answer” (six appearances so far published or in press); and "Reflec­tions on Relativism," "As for that phrase 'studying in a literary spirit ...,'" and "'We Pragma­tists ...': Peirce and Rorty in Conversation" (five appearances each). 

Haack's writing is known for its clarity, directness, tough-mindedness, and humor. Referring to her Manifesto, celebrated economist Robert Heil­broner asked: "Is it possible for a philoso­pher to have a kindly heart, a wicked wit, a passion for clarity, and a conclusive argument that crossword puzzles are, for thinkers, what laborato­ries are for scientists?" and replied: "It is, if her name is Susan Haack." In his Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Critics, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg described Haack as "one of those rare contemporary philosophers I can read with pleasure." 

Haack's recent work is strongly interdisciplinary. Since she began to interest herself in issues in philosophy of science she has spoken with Weinberg and physicist/historian of science Gerald Holton at a panel on "What Can the Natural Sciences Know, and How Do They Know It?"; at a conference on "The Flight From Science and Reason" at the New York Academy; with Nobelist Jerome Friedman and historian of science Peter Galison on a panel on the Humanities and the Sciences organized by the ACLS; and at Yale's Seminar on Issues in Science and the Humanities.  

Haack's paper, "An Epistemologist in the Bramble Bush: At the Supreme Court with Mr. Joiner," was used as background material for a panel on Science-Based Medical Evidence at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and published with the panelists' papers as the lead article in a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law; it is excerpted in George Fisher's recent textbook on the law of evidence. A talk Haack gave in a symposium on Law and Truth at Yale Law School has appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Since then Haack has written papers on science and the law for Daedalus, for two confer­ences on Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm­aceuticals, for a conference on the "New Evidence Scholarship" at Cardozo Law School, and for the World Congress of the Inter­nationale Vereinigu­ng fur Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie in Lund, Sweden. In fall 2004 Haack gave the Olin Lecture in Jurisprudence at Notre Dame Law School; in spring 2005 she gave a series of lectures as Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Laws at the University of Bologna; in summer 2005 she spoke at the Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, and in fall 2005 she spoke at a National Institute of Justice conference on science and law.

Haack’s work in jurisprudence now includes, besides the Olin lecture (“Epistemology Legalized: Or, Truth, Justice, and the American Way”), published in The American Journal of Jurisprudence in 2005, a paper entitled “On Legal Pragmatism: Where does the ‘Path of the Law’ Lead Us?”, scheduled to appear in the next issue of The American Journal of Jurisprudence, and a recently completed paper entitled “On Logic in the Law: ‘Something, but not all’.”

Haack serves on the Editorial Board of Philosophy, Science, and Law, and the Advisory Board of Ratio Juris, and edited an issue of the American Philo­soph­ical Associat­ion's Newsletter on Philosophy and Law on Science in the Law, which appeared in the fall of 2003. She has worked with the Miami-Dade Public Defender's office on cases involving scientific testimony.     

Haack has also explored issues in philosophy of literature: she has written on metaphor in Manifesto; articulated similarities and differenc­es between science and literature in Defending Science; published an article on the feminist philosophy implicit in Dorothy Sayers' detective novel, Gaudy Night in the New Criterion; and, most recently, present­ed a paper on Samuel Butler's The Way of all Flesh  at a confer­ence on "virtue epistemology," which appeared in New Literary History 2005. 

Haack's speaking engagements have taken her not only to numerous philosophy departments and Law Schools, but also to depart­ments of English, Humani­ties Insti­tutes, Liberal Arts programs, the American Council of Learned Societ­ies, the Institute of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and various scientific conferences. She has given many named and endowed public lectures and lecture series, including, most recently, the Monro Lecture at Simon Fraser University, the President's Lecture at the University of Montana, and the Olin Lecture in jurisprudence at the University of Notre Dame.  

Haack's work has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Russian, Danish, Swedish, Korean, Chinese, and Croatian; and she has lectured at universities, colleges, and conferences not only across the US and Canada, but around the world -- including, in 2004, an extended lecture tour of China, during which she gave eleven lectures at six universities in four cities. She is joint editor, with Professor Chen Bo of Peking Universi­ty, of a new book series, Contemporary Western Philosophy in Transla­tion, published by Renmin University Press (Beijing); and she serves on the Editorial Boards of journals in Spain, Brazil, and Uruguay as well as in the U.S. and U.K., journals. 

Haack is an elected (British) delegate to the Institut Internation­al de Philosophie. She served from 1994-2004 as a member of the Advisory Board of the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virgin­ia; she is now a member of the Advisory Board of the Leverhulme Evidence Project (based at University College, London). In 2005 she served on a panel writing the Fordham Foundation report on K-12 Science Standards across the United States. She is an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, a past President of the Charles S. Peirce Society, and a past member of the U.S./U.K. Educational Commission.   

Haack was awarded the Principal's Prize at St. Hilda's College in 1965, and held a Harkness Fellowship at Princeton in 1975-6. She held Orovitz summer awards from UM in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996 & 1997, and an NEH summer stipend in 1995. Haack has received Awards for Excel­lence in Teaching from the American Philosoph­ical Association and from the University of Miami, where she has also received the Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentor, the Provost's Award for Research, and the Faculty Senate Distin­guished Scholar Award. 

In 2004 Haack found herself included in Peter J. King, 100 Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World's Greatest Thinkers  (New York: Barron), which includes philosophers, from the East as well as the West, from Thales and Confucius to the present day; she is one of the very few living philosophers so honored.  In 2005 she learned that she had been named in the Sunday Independent (London) as one of the ten most important women philosophers of all time. (She prefers the less sexist tribute.)