Law and Science as Forms of Enquiry

20th Nov 2009

16:30 - 18:30

Chisholm House seminar room


This paper seeks to compare two separate schools of thought on the nature of knowledge as social inquiry.  One is pragmatic fallibilism, associated with Charles S. Peirce and the early American pragmatists. The other is an approach to the sociology of scientific knowledge called finitism, associated with the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh, known for the 'strong program' characterizing the 'Edinburgh School' of science studies.  Both legal and scientific knowledge might be viewed as forms of community inquiry, focusing on the primacy of cases and exemplars in the process of intersubjective classification, and on the dual role of concepts in both guiding the conduct of professional inquirers and forming and maintaining the coherence and consistency of both expert and general belief.

Prof. Kellogg is a highly distinguished scholar who has published extensively on legal theory. He is currently Sir Neil MacCormick Fellow, University of Edinburgh School of Law, as well as  Research Scholar at The George Washington University, and a Visiting Professor at The Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.