My Issue with Scientism

I dislike the term “scientism”. I think it should never be used. Science or the scientific method is not something which constitutes a worldview or which attempts to promote a dogmatic ideology or a philosophical idea. Scientists don’t believe anything. They do not have any sort of predisposition to prove anything right. In fact, a proper scientist is one who maintains impartiality with respect to truth or falsity. What scientists do is test predictions with reality and if the predictions conform to nature, they are temporarily not wrong. They then check for internal inconsistencies and refine them. Thus, in science, there are no belief systems and there is no initial predisposition to sweep away any ideas or impose authoritative claims about the world. There is no dogmatic faith in some monopolizing philosophical doctrine. So, the fact that scientism is a belief and imposed dogma goes against what the scientific method is all about and the fact that this term attempts to usurp the meaning of science is a problem, because that is not what science actually means. I do agree that truths about the natural world can only be generated from empirical knowledge but my issue is with the term itself. It is self-refuting. Science believing in science?

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “My Issue with Scientism

  1. The paragraph above offers a nice summation of what scientism is: the notion that science is somehow able to do away with worldview is itself a worldview. There are many important critics of scientism who are not religious people–Eric Vogelin and Wayne Booth for instance.


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