, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 173–176 | Cite as

Exploring the hinterland of science

Massimo Pigliucci: Nonsense on stilts: How to tell science from bunk. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2010, 332pp, $20.00 PB
  • Maarten Boudry
Book Review

In a foreword to Michael Shermer’s Why people believe weird things, the late Stephen Jay Gould wrote that “[s]kepticism or debunking often receives the bad rap reserved for activities—like garbage disposal—that absolutely must be done for a safe and sane life, but seem either unglamorous or unworthy of overt celebration”. The attitude of many scientists and philosophers toward modern scepticism tends to be a little condescending, not because they are sympathetic to pseudoscience, but because they believe that some ideas are so obviously wrong that they are not even worth arguing about. In addition, following the influential critiques of the likes of Larry Laudan, many philosophers shy away from branding theories as pseudoscience and philosophical enthusiasm for the demarcation problem has waned significantly over the last decades. Rejecting some theories as pseudoscientific, as sceptics are wont to do, suggests a naïve conception of the nature of science and seems to presuppose a...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy & Moral SciencesGhentBelgium

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