Scientism: Philosophy and the Infatuation with Science

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Routledge, 1991 - Philosophy - 206 pages
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Scientism is the belief that science, especially natural science, is the most valuable part of our culture. Although not confined to philosophers, it is from Bacon and Descartes up to the naturalized epistemology of Quine that the clearest statements of the scientistic attitude are to be found. This book shows how Western philosophy has been dominated by an identification with the aims of science and the rationality of its methods. This has resulted in attempts to either dismiss the unscientific or to put it on a scientific footing. The author criticizes this scientific view of philosophy, wishing not to devalue science but to increase the value placed on the arts and humanities. He insists that philosophy is not a science and condemns recent attempts "in the name of naturalism" to revive the project of a scientific philosophy.

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About the author (1991)

Tom Sorell is Professor of Politics and Philosophy at Warwick University. From 2008 to 2012, he led the European Union FP7 Security project DETECTER (on the ethics and human rights issues surrounding the use of detection technologies in counter-terrorism) and is now leader of several Work Packages in the current SURVEILLE project (2012 15). He is Principal Investigator of the major AHRC project, 'Responsibilities, Ethics and the Financial Crisis' (FinCris), running from 2012 to 2015, and also contributes to the FP7 IT project ACCOMPANY, on robotics and care companions. He has published monographs in history of philosophy, especially on Hobbes and Descartes; moral and political philosophy; epistemology and philosophy of science; as well as several distinct areas of applied ethics.

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