Scientism and Pseudoscience: A Philosophical Commentary
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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.”
KeywordsScientism Pseudoscience Two cultures Homeopathy
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