Scientism and Pseudoscience: A Philosophical Commentary

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (4):569-575 (2015)
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Abstract

The term “scientism” is used in a variety of ways with both negative and positive connotations. I suggest that some of these uses are inappropriate, as they aim simply at dismissing without argument an approach that a particular author does not like. However, there are legitimate negative uses of the term, which I explore by way of an analogy with the term “pseudoscience.” I discuss these issues by way of a recent specific example provided by a controversy in the field of bioethics concerning the value, or lack thereof, of homeopathy. I then frame the debate about scientism within the broader context of C.P. Snow’s famous essay on the “two cultures.”

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Massimo Pigliucci
CUNY Graduate Center

References found in this work

Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Don Ross, David Spurrett & John G. Collier.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.

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