Six Signs of Scientism

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

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.

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Susan Haack
University of Miami

Citations of this work

My Life Gives the Moral Landscape its Relief.Marc Champagne - 2023 - In Sandra Woien (ed.), Sam Harris: Critical Responses. Chicago: Carus Books. pp. 17–38.
Medicine is not science.Clifford Miller & Donald W. Miller - 2014 - European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 2 (2):144-153.
Ist der Naturalismus eine Ideologie?Thomas Jussuf Spiegel - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (1):51-71.
The Supposed Spectre of Scientism.Amanda Bryant - 2022 - In Moti Mizrahi Mizrahi (ed.), For and Against Scientism: Science, Methodology, and the Future of Philosophy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 47-74.

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References found in this work

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.

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