The Supposed Spectre of Scientism

In Moti Mizrahi Mizrahi (ed.), For and Against Scientism: Science, Methodology, and the Future of Philosophy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 47-74 (2022)
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This chapter considers the assumptions required to make scientisms of different forms genuinely threatening to philosophers, where a genuine threat would consist of a concrete risk to their statuses, the value of their teaching and research, their livelihoods, their preferred research methods, or the health of the discipline. I will find that strong and weak forms of scientism alike require substantive assumptions to make them threatening in those regards. In particular, they require sometimes heavy-handed circumscriptions of philosophy and science, as well as their epistemic credentials and achievements, methods, and subject matters. They also require restrictive pronouncements upon the epistemic and non-epistemic goods that are valuable, worth promoting in academic contexts, and relevant to disciplinary health. My aim in this chapter will not to be defeat those assumptions but rather to make them explicit and to emphasize their frequent strength and contentiousness.

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Amanda Bryant
Ryerson University


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