Mainstream and Formal Epistemology is a very timely tour de force, bringing
together mainstream epistemology and the modern logico-computational
tradition in knowledge, learning, and agency. Using the unifying
concept of 'forcing', it presents a clear and impassioned analysis of
both static and dynamic aspects of cognition. In dispelling the
accumulated fog of ignorance between the two traditions, the author
shows us a highway for new contacts between philosophy and its broader
Johan van Benthem, University of Amsterdam and Stanford
Contemporary epistemology is handicapped by a division into different and apparently unrelated research traditions. Besides the traditional discussions that often take the form of a search for a definition of knowledge, there are for instance approaches wielding epistemic logic as their main weapon. Other approaches bring the concepts and conceptualizations of learning theory to bear on epistemology. Vincent F. Hendricks has done the philosophical community a major service by bringing several such important lines of thought together and by trying to synthesize them.
Hintikka, Boston University
Hendricks' erudite writing but still original approach provides a
challenging meeting point for the mainstream and the formal
epistemologists. Moreover, with his infectious enthousiasm he forces
skeptical epistemological theories convincingly out.
van der Hoek,
University of Liverpool
The key notion of Hendricks' book is epistemological forcing
- constraining within an appropriate range of situations/worlds. Hendricks deftly deploys this notion to focus a rich blend of philosophical deliberation and formal techniques. The result, in the shape of what he calls modal operator epistemology, is a powerful framework for the future pursuit of investigations in
In this intriguing and
scholarly book Hendricks manages to do what many would have thought
impossible: to bring together, in a readable and accessible fashion,
both mainstream and formal epistemological proposals. This is a
genuinely interesting and challenging work of philosophy, one that
will both define and substantially further the debate between
philosophers from these two very different sides of the epistemic
spectrum for many years to come.
University of Stirling
interesting and original book connects a diverse range of approaches
to the theory of knowledge that are rarely considered together, from
the traditional project of analyzing knowledge to epistemic logic,
formal learning theory, and the "interactive epistemology" developed
by game theorists. Whether or not he succeeds in his ambitious aim
of defeating the skeptic, he illuminates the issues by finding some
unifying themes, and by showing that these contrasting projects have
something to say to each other.
Hendricks skillfully applies important work in logic and computability
theory to fundamental epistemological questions. He is one of the few
contemporary philosophers to have a clear understanding of both.
Mainstream and Formal Epistemology will be essential reading for
John Symons, University of Texas, El Paso
often been maintained that epistemology is a heterogeneous field
with little interaction or even interconnections between various
co-existing informal and formal theories.
Formal Epistemology is a highly recommendable meta-epistemological
study, presenting a unifying perspective on approaches like
mainstream epistemology, epistemic logic, and computational
theories of knowledge.
Dresden University of Technology