February 12, 2009

A philosopher of science's top five books in epistemology of the last century

Here's the epistemologist's list of `the five most important books in epistemology of the past century':

Chisholm, Theory of Knowledge, 2nd edition (maybe should be Perceiving), Lehrer, Knowledge, Goldman, Epistemology and Cognition, Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy (maybe should be Our Knowledge of the External World), and BonJour, The Structure of Empirical Knowledge

This is all wrong. Here are mine:
  1. Dewey, Logic, the theory of inquiry (or Quest for certainty for just the critical project)
  2. Quine, Ontological relativity and other essays, especially `Epistemology naturalized'
  3. Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions
  4. Longino, Science as social knowledge

Picking out just one more is tricky. If I could get two more, I'd want something representing the Strong Programme -- say, Shapin's Interests and the growth of knowledge -- and something representing postwar philosophy -- Hempel's Aspects of Scientific Explanation and other Essays in the Philosophy of Science might be the best choice, though I'm not in love with it.

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