Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Susan Haack

“Everybody shall produce written research in order to live”; Barzun [in The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going, New Yor, 1968] exaggerates, but not much. Everybody aspiring to the tenure-track, tenure, promotion, a raise, a better job, or, of course, academic stardom, had better produce written, published, research. “[A]nd it shall be decreed a knowledge explosion”; again, Barzun exaggerates, but, again, not much. It is pretty much taken for granted that this explosion of publications is a good thing, that it represents a significant contribution to knowledge.
— Susan Haack, “A Preposterous Environment”, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims for the Paranormal, November/December 1997.

The back cover of Susan Haack’s book Defending Science — Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism has this blurb by Jacques Barzun: “I greatly relished reading this book. I very much admire Haack’s comprehensive defense of science; it is appropriately argued without resort to cliché — pleasurable prose.”