Scientism: Prospects and Problems
Outline: Is science the only source of genuine knowledge about the world and ourselves? Is science our only guide to what exists? Scientism answers both questions in the affirmative, and is increasingly influential in the popular scientific literature and intellectual life in general. Yet philosophers have largely ignored it. This edited volume develops and assesses scientism as a serious philosophical position. It features twelve new essays by both proponents and critics of scientism. Before scientism can be evaluated, it must be defined. Hence, the volume opens with essays that provide an overview of the many different versions of scientism and their mutual interrelations. Next, several card-carrying proponents of scientism make their case, either by developing and arguing directly for their preferred version of scientism or by responding to objections. Then, the floor is given to critics of scientism, who examine whether scientism is epistemically vicious, whether scientism presents a plausible general epistemological outlook and whether science has limits. The final four essays connect scientism to ongoing debates elsewhere in philosophy. What does scientism mean for religious epistemology? What can science tell us about morality and is a scientistic moral epistemology plausible? How is scientism related to physicalism? And is experimental philosophy really a form of scientism tailored to philosophy?
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