February 23, 2011

Identifying Scientism

Susan Haack, University of Miami School of Law and Department of Philosophy, has published Six Signs of Scientism (Seis Signos De Cientismo) in Discusiones Filoficas, Ano 11 (No. 15) June 2010. Here is the 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 in inappropriate or exaggerated. This paper tries to answer that question by articulating "six signs of scientism": the honorific use of "science," etc; 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.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. NB: The text is in Spanish.

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