Six Signs of Scientism

Logos and Episteme 3 (1):75-95 (2012)

Susan Haack
University of Miami
As the English word “scientism” is currently used, it is a trivial verbal truth that scientism—an inappropriately deferential attitude to science—should be avoided. But it is a substantial question when, and why, deference to the sciences is inappropriate or exaggerated. This paper tries to answer that question by articulating “six signs of scientism”: the honorific use of “science” and its cognates; using scientific trappings purely decoratively; preoccupation with demarcation; preoccupation with “scientific method”; looking to the sciences for answers beyond their scope; denying the legitimacy or worth of non-scientific (e.g., legal or literary) inquiry, or of writing poetry or making art.
Keywords demarcation of science  scientism  honorific use of “science”  science and values  scientific method
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Reprint years 2012
ISBN(s) 2069-0533
DOI 10.5840/logos-episteme20123151
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References found in this work BETA

The Two Cultures.C. P. Snow & Stefan Collini - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
The Two Cultures.C. P. Snow & Stefan Collini - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Not Cynicism, but Synechism: Lessons From Classical Pragmatism.Susan Haack - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (2):239-253.
Science and Literature.Peter Medawar - 1969 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 12 (4):529-546.

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Citations of this work BETA

Physicalism, Not Scientism.Alyssa Ney - forthcoming - In Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels & Rene van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems. Oxford University Press.
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Ist der Naturalismus eine Ideologie?Thomas Jussuf Spiegel - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (1):51-71.
The World and How We Know It: Stumbling Towards an Understanding.Susan Haack - 2020 - Journal of Critical Realism 19 (1):78-88.

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