Scientism - Nothing But a Childish Insult?

by cofty 147 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe
    interested to know if you have actually read any contemporary academic work on history that categorises history as a "science". I would be surprised, but I could certainly have missed something!

    My professors didn't use the word science to describe history but they did strongly suggest that historical evidence is now assessed as scientifically as possible. They examine the physical evidence, observe the changes events have wrought on a country and develop theories.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Well I'd be interested if there are any contemporary textbooks that categorise history as a science. They make the distinction as Tosh does as quoted above. Certainly adopting rigorous methods as far as possible but recognising it's a different kind of knowledge.

    If you are simply saying history follows rigorous methods and can produce reliable results then I mostly agree with that.

    I thought the debate was whether history is a "science". Clearly it is not a science for the reason above and others beside. But it is a legitimate form of knowledge.

    Which I thought was the point of the thread.

  • Xanthippe
    Xanthippe
    Certainly adopting rigorous methods as far as possible but recognising it's a different kind of knowledge.

    Yes in the sense that we don't want to copy most of the experiments of history I would agree.

  • cofty
    cofty

    Semantics are so tedious.

    I could not care less whether some field of knowledge should be labeled as science or not. Few things interest me less. Maybe my definition of science is broader than it ought to be? I don't care.

    The point is that it is entirely reasonable to demand evidence for the extraordinary claims of theists.

    It is irrelevant whether that evidence belongs in the realm of science or not. Theists insist god acts in the physical world. That is open to investigation. Dismissing such reasonable requests as "scientism" is a cop-out.

  • John_Mann
    John_Mann

    So far we agree these sources of knowledges are not science (scientific method):

    Philosophy (being the universal tool of knowledge).

    Heuristic

    History

    Music/art

    Law

    Politics

    Mathematics

    Psychology

    All these areas of knowledge work without scientific evidence.

  • John_Mann
    John_Mann
    On this thread you have alternated bizarrely between saying you are unaware of any real knowledge outside science (and could anyone point it out) and insisting that you accept other kinds of knowledge and anyone who says otherwise is misrepresenting you. So which is it?

    Yes.This is very strange.

    I'm really trying to understand Cofty's worldview but it's very difficult when he keeps flip-flopping.

    He seems to confuse scientific evidence and physical evidence too.

    Also I don't know why he insists writing scientism in quotemarks implying scientism itself is an invented or invalid term.

    Actually scientism is very well defined by great philosophers of science like Popper and Putnam for instance.

  • cofty
    cofty

    I haven't agreed to anything.

    You make extraordinary claims. You refuse to offer any evidence. I make no restrictions on what sort of evidence I will consider.

    My definition of science is of no consequence to this conversation.

  • John_Mann
    John_Mann
    I make no restrictions on what sort of evidence I will consider.

    I think you're very biased to only accept scientific evidence.

    I don't think you would accept physical evidence or testimonial evidence for instance.

    I'd presented even logical proof to you about the existence of God in St. Anselm's ontological argument.



  • Rainbow_Troll
    Rainbow_Troll
    Actually scientism is very well defined by great philosophers of science like Popper and Putnam for instance.

    It is, but as far as I am aware, 'scientism' is always used polemically by those who are critical of the universal applicability of the scientific method. No one who actually believes that the scientific method is the only means to knowledge ever refers to their position as 'scientism' The suffix 'ism' is usually applied to religion or similarly dogmatic ideologies, while scientists consider themselves to be open minded and dogma-free. To tag 'ism' to the end of science, implies that science is just as dogmatic as any religion. The way the word is put together is inherently biased against the position it is applied to. It's like calling a Catholic a Papist or telling a homosexual he is a sodomite. You may not mean it to be derogatory, but that's how it feels for those who get labeled with it.

  • LoveUniHateExams
    LoveUniHateExams

    @John_Mann - please explain the difference between scientific evidence and physical evidence.