Archives For Adam Briggle

Author Information: Lyudmila A. Markova, Russian Academy of Sciences,

Markova, Lyudmila A. “A Brief Reply to Maya Frodeman.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 53-54.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

Please refer to:

I would like to consider briefly three points in connection with issues raised by Maya Frodeman.

1. Academics’ approval or disapproval in transforming the knowledge production system in universities does not mean much. Certainly the majority of academics do not want such changes, but the main reason is not that they fear losing their position in the social structure of the university. Rather, a serious difficulty follows in recognizing and taking up new ideas. Many academics believe sincerely that new knowledge policies will destroy science. And they are right if science is considered by politicians, in the same way as by academics, and if the science policy does not take into consideration the changes outlined by Robert Frodeman. Philosophy offers the ability to see the current features of contemporary science that make it fundamentally different compared to classical science (which some scientists and philosophers perceive as the only possible one).  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Maya Frodeman, Reed College,

Frodeman, Maya. “A Challenge for Frodeman and Briggle.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 30-33.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

Please refer to:

The introduction to Frodeman and Briggle’s forthcoming book, Socrates Untenured: Toward a 21st Century Philosophy, outlines a provocative critique of higher education and professional philosophy. Yet do the authors take their point far enough? I suggest that unless Frodeman and Briggle deepen their critique this book will fail to prompt the changes that our system of higher education needs.

There is a Catch-22 embedded in their introduction: a book challenging the traditions of academia written by two white, tenured males. The book will turn some heads. (Perhaps it cannot be any other way: you are either inside the system looking out, or outside looking in.) In fact, the book will likely upset academics who cherish the current system of knowledge production. However, there needs to be another voice in the book. Frodeman and Briggle need to add a perspective that will allow their book to speak to new audiences and ensure that their ideas in Socrates Untenured live past a weekend.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Robert Frodeman, University of North Texas, and Adam Briggle, University of North Texas,


Editor’s Note: Bob Frodeman and Adam Briggle were kind enough to share a draft (further abridged) of the introduction to their proposed book Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy. The book is under consideration for publication in our “Collective Studies in Knowledge and Society” series. A reply to their Frodeman and Briggle’s introduction is forthcoming.


There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. — Thoreau

Think of organic chemistry; I recognize its importance, but I am not curious about it, nor do I see why the layman should care about much of what concerns me in philosophy. — Quine

Philosophy recovers itself when it ceases to be a device for dealing with the problems of philosophers and becomes a method, cultivated by philosophers, for dealing with the problems of men. — Dewey


In 1917 John Dewey published “The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy.” This essay, a nearly 17,000 word reflection on the role of philosophy in early 20th century American life, expressed Dewey’s concern that philosophy had become antiquated, “sidetracked from the main currents of contemporary life,” too much the domain of professionals and adepts. While taking pains to note that the classic questions of philosophy make inestimable contributions to culture both past and present, Dewey felt that the topics being raised by professional philosophers were too often “discussed mainly because they have been discussed rather than because contemporary conditions of life suggest them.”  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Adam Briggle, University of North Texas,; Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology,; J. Britt Holbrook, University of North Texas,; Veronika Lipinska, Lund University, Sweden, SERRC,

Briggle, Adam, Steve Fuller, Britt Holbrook and Veronika Lipinska. 2013. “Exchange on Holbrook and Briggle’s ‘Knowing and Acting’”. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (5) 38-44.

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Please refer to: Holbrook, J. Britt and Adam Briggle. 2013. “Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (5): 15-37.

Editor’s Note: The following e-mail exchange on Holbrook and Briggle’s “Knowing and Acting” (published on the SERRC as a pre-print on 16 April 2013) took place from 20 to 22 March 2013. The participants are J. Britt Holbrook, Adam Briggle, Veronika Lipinska and Steve Fuller.

Lipinska (20 March): You make a strong case for similarities between the proactionary and precautionary principle with regards to deployment of risk assessment strategies and avoidance of recklessness and try to give the precautionary principle a proactionary spin. In a way, what you are saying is that unless precautionaries go completely ballistic and push every proposal to undergo extensive and time consuming risk evaluations, the precautionary principle can well be proactionary in practice. However, I think it strongly undermines the precautionary principle as a principle and reshapes it into merely a tool for inquiry. It is one thing to say that we should evaluate risks before we proceed with action (which is what both proactionaries and precautionaries agree on and which I call “risk assessment”) and quite another thing to engage in active decision making, which should be understood as risk management. Continue Reading…

Author Information: J. Britt Holbrook,, and Adam Briggle,, University of North Texas

Holbrook, J. Britt and Adam Briggle. 2013. “Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (5): 15-37.

The PDF of the pre-print gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

This essay explores the relationship between knowledge (in the form of scientific risk assessment) and action (in the form of technological innovation) as they come together in policy, which itself is both a kind of knowing and acting. It first illustrates the dilemma of timely action in the face of uncertain unintended consequences. It then introduces the precautionary and proactionary principles as different alignments of knowledge and action within the policymaking process. The essay next considers a cynical and a hopeful reading of the role of these principles in public policy debates. We argue that the two principles, despite initial appearances, are not all that different when it comes to formulating public policy. We also suggest that principles in general can be used either to guide our actions, or to determine them for us. We argue that allowing principles to predetermine our actions undermines the sense of autonomy necessary for true action.

Keywords: Precautionary Principle; Proactionary Principle; Policy; Decision Procedure

Knowledge kills action. (Nietzsche)[1]

1. Knowing and acting

How are knowledge and action related? This question is asked less often than another: When do we know enough to justify taking action? In the context of making science and technology policy, the question assumes yet a different form: When do we have sufficient scientific risk assessments about a new technological activity to warrant promoting that activity and embedding it in society? In this paper, we explore how the relation between knowledge and action should be structured in policymaking. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Daniel A. Kaufman, Missouri State University,

Kaufman, Daniel A. 2013. “Philosophy’s Academic Viability: A Reply to Frodeman, Briggle and Holbrook.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (3): 1-5.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink:

Please refer to: Frodeman, Robert, Adam Briggle and J. Britt Holbrook. 2012. “Philosophy in the Age of Neoliberalism.” Social Epistemology 25 (3-4): 311-330.

This is an important article, one that says things that need saying and which are not said often enough, within philosophy. For a subject that has been known historically for its critical edge and its refusal to pay homage to dogmas or sacred cows, philosophy has become quite uncritical about itself and its role in the University and the larger world. Frodeman, Briggle, and Britt have built upon a conversation that Frodeman started in an article last September, in Synthese, [1] one that I believe is desperately needed, if philosophy is to survive the inevitable changes that are coming to the University over the next several decades and if it is ever going to regain the significance it once had, on the course of human affairs. For the record — and this will bear on the drift of my remarks — I think that the latter is far more important than the former. Continue Reading…