Janack Publishes Book on the Meanings of Experience

What We Mean by Experience by Professor of Philosophy Marianne Janack was recently published by Stanford University Press.


The publisher’s website says the book “takes on the critique of empiricism and the skepticism with regard to experience that has issued from two seemingly disparate intellectual strains of thought: anti-foundationalist and holistic philosophy of science and epistemology (Kuhn and Rorty, in particular) and feminist critiques of identity politics.


“Both strains end up marginalizing experience as a viable corrective for theory, and both share notions of human beings and cognition that cause the problem of the relation between experience and our theories to present itself in a particular way. Indeed, they render experience an intractable problem by opening up a gap between a naturalistic understanding of human beings and an understanding of humans as cultural entities, as non-natural makers of meaning.


“Marianne Janack aims to close this gap, to allow us to be naturalistic and hermeneutic at once. Drawing on cognitive neuroscience, the pragmatist tradition, and ecological psychology, her book rescues experience as natural contact with the world.”


Lorraine Code of York University calls the book “engaging and highly readable,” saying that Janack “asks us to think about experience in a new and original way. She forges new connections across diverse philosophical and other scholarly positions, each time bringing the reader back to different ways of considering experience.”

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