Archive for May 4th, 2015

May 4, 2015


religion and science

Scientism [sahy-uhn-tiz-uhm] is belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. Philosopher Tom Sorell describes it as: ‘putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.’ It has been defined as ‘the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society.’

The term scientism frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism (verificationism) and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam and Tzvetan Todorov to describe the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.

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