In Defence of Epistemology

My aim in this paper is to criticise a post-Althusserian tendency which urges us to ditch the whole project of epistemology; I shall also say something about the conditions for an epistemology which will not lay itself open to the objections raised against epistemology by this tendency insofar as those objections are valid. And I shall make some brief comments about some of the outstanding problems for an epistemology which is to cope with the human sciences – problems which are not made to disappear, but merely evaded, by the rejection of epistemology. My task is therefore a polemical one – the defence of what I regard as already established positions of materialist epistemology, against new versions of idealism, albeit shamefaced (or as they say in the trade, ‘de-negated’) versions.


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