Science-Only Ideology

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A Science-Only Ideology is an ideology that the empirical science constitutes the most authoritative source of real-world knowledge.




  • (Wikipedia, 2015) ⇒ Retrieved:2015-8-16.
    • Scientism 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.

      Accordingly, philosopher Tom Sorell provides this definition of scientism: "Scientism is a matter of 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." [1] The term scientism frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper,[2] and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam and Tzvetan Todorov [3] to describe the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.[4] "Scientism" has also been taken over as a name for the view that science is the only reliable source of knowledge by philosophers such as Alexander Rosenberg.[5] Scientism may refer to science applied "in excess". The term scientism can apply in either of two senses: # To indicate the improper usage of science or scientific claims. This usage applies equally in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived to be beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion. It includes an excessive deference to claims made by scientists or an uncritical eagerness to accept any result described as scientific. This can be a counterargument to appeals to scientific authority. It can also address the attempt to apply "hard science" methodology and claims of certainty to the social sciences, which Friedrich Hayek described in The Counter-Revolution of Science as being impossible, because that methodology involves attempting to eliminate the "human factor", while social sciences (including his own field of economics) center almost purely around human action. # To refer to "the belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry,"[6] or that "science, and only science, describes the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective" with a concomitant "elimination of the psychological dimensions of experience." The term is also used by historians, philosophers, and cultural critics to highlight the possible dangers of lapses towards excessive reductionism in all fields of human knowledge. For social theorists in the tradition of Max Weber, such as Jürgen Habermas and Max Horkheimer, the concept of scientism relates significantly to the philosophy of positivism, but also to the cultural rationalization of the modern West. British writer and feminist thinker Sara Maitland has called scientism a "myth as pernicious as any sort of fundamentalism."

  1. Allan Bullock & Stephen Trombley (Eds), The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, London: Harper Collins, 1999, p.775
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  3. "Scientism does not eliminate the will but decides that since the results of science are valid for everyone, this will must be something shared, not individual. In practice, the individual must submit to the collectivity, which "knows" better than he does." Tzvetan Todorov. The Imperfect Garden: the legacy of humanism. Princeton University Press. 2001. Pg. 20
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