Theoria 83 (1):78-97 (2017)

Authors
Massimo Pigliucci
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Why do irrational beliefs adopt the trappings of science, to become what is known as “pseudoscience”? Here, we develop and extend an epidemiological framework to map the factors that explain the form and the popularity of irrational beliefs in scientific garb. These factors include the exploitation of epistemic vigilance, the misunderstanding of the authority of science, the use of the honorific title of “science” as an explicit argument for belief, and the phenomenon of epistemic negligence. We conclude by integrating the various factors in an epidemiological framework and thus provide a comprehensive cultural evolutionary account of science mimicry.
Keywords cultural attraction theory  cognitive science of science  philosophy of science  philosophy and history of biology  pseudoscience  cultural evolution  epidemiology of representations  naturalized epistemology  evolutionary psychology
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DOI 10.1111/theo.12109
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References found in this work BETA

Consciousness Explained.William G. Lycan - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (3):424.
Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

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Citations of this work BETA

Taking Responsibility for Health in an Epistemically Polluted Environment.Neil Levy - 2018 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 39 (2):123-141.
Věda, pseudověda a paravěda.Filip Tvrdý - 2020 - E-Logos 27 (2):4-17.

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