Volume 21, Issue 1, Spring 2017
The Tyranny of Certainty
In this essay I explore some implications and effects of taken-for-granted expectations of achieved certainty as the only legitimate outcome of scientific and everyday inquiry. The analysis contrasts ubiquitous if often tacit expectations of certainty with a critique of how these very expectations can truncate productive engagement with matters ecological. The discussion focuses on the limited prospects of success in inquiry when certainty is the only putatively acceptable outcome, and it defends the value of situated quests for knowledge with their reliance on hermeneutic understandings of place and process as these involve real human knowers.