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Scientific Thinking: Its History, Methods, and Advantages

  • C. S. Wallis
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 546)

Abstract

Philosophers and scientists often dismiss complementary and alternative medicine as “pseudoscience.” In applying the pseudoscience moniker they often intend to suggest that the beliefs and practices of complementary and alternative medicine are as irrational as a fear of flying, as effective as a rabbit’s foot, and as pretentiously deceptive as a mongrel in a dog show. Many people in western society have come to think of science as the deity of reason and pseudoscience is its doppelganger. In this paper I wish to offer a less bipolar view of science and pseudoscience wherein one sees science and pseudoscience as sometimes overlapping partitions on a continuum between utopic rational inquiry and chaotic irrationality. My thesis does not represent a diminution of science, nor an exultation of pseudoscience. Rather, I portray pseudoscientific beliefs and practices as resulting from human, but nevertheless unacceptable, hypotheses, evidence standards, and innate judgment mechanisms. Likewise, science while striving towards laudable intellectual standards should not be thought of as an epistemic authority before which one must unthinkingly genuflect.

Keywords

Scientific Theory Placebo Effect Scientific Thinking Scientific Misconduct Placebo Control Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Wallis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University, Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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