Belief and Resistance
Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy
By (author) Barbara Herrnstein Smith
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Belief and Resistance by Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Book DescriptionThe controversies between traditionalists and postmodernists are the topic of this book. It examines questions at the heart of the debate, such as: truth, reason, and objectivity - can we survive without them? What happens to law, science and the persuit of justice when these ideals are abandoned? The clash of belief and skepticism, and our need for intellectual stability are also examined. Focusing on the impasses to which these controversies often lead, and on the charges - "absurdity", "irrationalism", "complicity", "blindness", "stubbornness" - that typically accompany them, the author stresses our tendency to give self-flattering reasons for our own beliefs, and to discount or demonize the motives of those who disagree with us. The resulting cognitive and rhetorical dynamics of intellectual conflict is accounted for, drawing on research and theory in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and the history and sociology of science. The analysis continues into ongoing debates over the possiblity of an objective grounding of legal and political judgements, the value of Enlightenment rationalism, challenges to dominant ideas of scientific truth, and responses to denials of the factuality of the Holocaust.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674064928
(235mm x 149mm x 13mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 30-Apr-1997
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Natural Reflections, Hardback (January 2010)
Focuses upon a set of contemporary intellectual projects involving science, religion, and human cognition. This title offers a sophisticated approach, recognizing science and religion as complex and distinct domains of human practice that also possess significant historical connections and psychological-cognitive resemblances and continuities.
Scandalous Knowledge, Hardback (January 2006)
This new book explores the radical reconceptions of knowledge and science emerging from constructivist epistemology, social studies of science, and contemporary cognitive science.
Poetic Closure, Paperback (January 1971)» View all books by Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Explores the question: How do poems end? This work examines numerous individual poems and examples of common poetic forms in order to reveal the relationship between closure and the overall structure and integrity of a poem.
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Author Biography - Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Barbara Herrnstein Smith is Braxton Craven Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Duke University, where she is also Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory.
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