Identifying Pseudoscience: A Social Process Criterion

Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):283-298 (2018)
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Abstract

Many philosophers have come to believe there is no single criterion by which one can distinguish between a science and a pseudoscience. But it need not follow that no distinction can be made: a multifactorial account of what constitutes a pseudoscience remains possible. On this view, knowledge-seeking activities fall on a spectrum, with the clearly scientific at one end and the clearly non-scientific at the other. When proponents claim a clearly non-scientific activity to be scientific, it can be described as a pseudoscience. One feature of a scientific theory is that it forms part of a research tradition being actively pursued by a scientific community. If a theory lacks this form of epistemic warrant, this is a pro tanto reason to regard it as pseudoscientific.

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Gregory W. Dawes
University of Otago

Citations of this work

Diagnosing Pseudoscience – by Getting Rid of the Demarcation Problem.Maarten Boudry - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (2):83-101.
Stance Pluralism, Scientology and the Problem of Relativism.Ragnar van der Merwe - forthcoming - Foundations of Science: DOI: 10.1007/s10699-022-09882-w.

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