Scientism and the Limits to Science

An important thread of mine is that scientism – the presumption that anything not-objectively-evidenced-as-scientific has no value – is the problematic meme of our times. And I mean that in everyday social, political and media life, not in academic philosophy and psychology. The polarisation that has driven the god vs science wars has led those … Continue reading “Scientism and the Limits to Science”


It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned scientism, nor the first time I’ve written specifically with this topic in my title. However, scientism rang positive bells with several of the audience the other night. My slides included this early bullet: My Sceptical Position is For “Science and Rationality” But against “Scientism”, the narrow dogma – … Continue reading “Scientism”

Managerialism, Leftism, Scientism, You Name It.

Two or three threads came together this morning. Ongoing debates about European responses to “immigrants”, “anti-semitism” and “islamism” – politically correct to the point of perversion of sense. Insanity. And of course later (lower down) #Chilcot. Where to start? Here a piece by Chris Corrigan posted on Facebook by Johnnie Moore, on managerialism and the … Continue reading “Managerialism, Leftism, Scientism, You Name It.”

Joining up some Dots of the Day on “Scientism”

One way or another “scientism” is at the core of many of my conversations in recent years, and in fact several in recent days too. In the last decade and a half I’ve also become quite a fan of Wittgenstein; initially suggested by Sam Norton a theologian-philosopher on a discussion-board we both frequented in the early … Continue reading “Joining up some Dots of the Day on “Scientism””

Wittgenstein Swimming Against Scientism

Ray Monk’s 1999 essay on Wittgenstein’s forgotten lesson – that “scientism” is a tide against which we are swimming. (I constantly use the word “scientism” to describe the prevailing problem and wasn’t aware of this source. Stumbled across it in Prospect Magazine, whilst following up the Nagel review below.)

Pinker vs Wieseltier III #Scientism

It’s almost a couple of weeks since Pinker responded with round III of his debate with Wieseltier over whether the humanities have a genuine claim of “scientism” against certain factions of the science community, or not. [I’ve commented twice on this debate, and mentioned it in several other posts too. Most recently the post on … Continue reading “Pinker vs Wieseltier III #Scientism”

Ethics of Science @ProfLisaJardine @TiffanyJenkins #Scientism

Interesting BBC R4 Point of View this morning by Lisa Jardine. [Fuller text in BBC Magazine article.] Based on the telling by her father (Jacob Bronowski) of the Leo Szillard story of the flash of inspiration that led him to patent the neutron chain reaction idea as a source of energy in the name of … Continue reading “Ethics of Science @ProfLisaJardine @TiffanyJenkins #Scientism”

#Scientism in Heaven and Earth @tiffanyjenkins

I’ve adopted the term “scientism” for the subject – the problem topic – of my agenda here in maybe the last 5 years or so? Previously I’ve called it scientific fundamentalism, or maybe obsessive objective reductionism, Maxwell’s scientific neurosis, things of that ilk, since I started this blog 13 years ago. Before that I never … Continue reading “#Scientism in Heaven and Earth @tiffanyjenkins”

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