Epistemological scientism and the scientific meta-method

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (2):1-23 (2023)
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This paper argues that the proponents of epistemological scientism must take some stand on scientific methodology. The supporters of scientism cannot simply defer to the social organisation of science because the social processes themselves must meet some methodological criteria. Among such criteria is epistemic evaluability, which demands intersubjective access to reasons. We derive twelve theses outlining some implications of epistemic evaluability. Evaluability can support weak and broad variants of epistemological scientism, which state that sciences, broadly construed, are the best sources of knowledge or some other epistemic goods. Since humanities and social sciences produce epistemically evaluable results, narrow types of scientism that take only natural sciences as sources of knowledge require additional argumentation in their support. Strong scientism, which takes sciences as the only source of knowledge, also needs to appeal to some further principles since evaluability is not an all-or-nothing affair.

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Ilmari Hirvonen
University of Helsinki


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