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Philosophy of science in practice and weak scientism together apart

Poliseli, Luana and Russo, Federica (2021) Philosophy of science in practice and weak scientism together apart. [Preprint]

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The term ‘scientism’ has not attracted consensus about its meaning or about its scope of application. In this paper, we consider Mizrahi’s suggestion to distinguish ‘Strong’
and ‘Weak’ scientism, and the consequences this distinction may have for philosophical methodology. While we side with Mizrahi that his definitions help advance the debate, by
avoiding verbal dispute and focussing on questions of method, we also have concerns about his proposal as it defends a hierarchy of knowledge production. Mizrahi’s position is that
Weak Scientism should be adopted, stating that “of all the knowledge we have, scientific knowledge is the best knowledge”. This version of scientism, however, has consequences for philosophical methodology. In particular, if one conceives of philosophy as an a priori discipline and holds Weak Scientism, the introduction of empirical methods in philosophy may threaten its very essence or soul. In this chapter, we will defend the move to adopt empirical methods in philosophy and argue that, rather than threatening its essence or soul, these methods put philosophy in a better position to contribute to knowledge production, an endeavour shared with the sciences, and in a very interdisciplinary spirit. Our point of disagreement with Mizrahi is that we should avoid any hierarchy of knowledge, and instead focus on what each perspective -- scientific, philosophical, historical, or other -- can contribute to understanding phenomena.

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Item Type: Preprint
Russo, Federicafederica.russo@gmail.com0000-0002-1993-9697
Additional Information: For and Against Scientism Science, Methodology, and the Future of Philosophy EDITED BY MOTI MIZRAHI Roman & Littefield
Subjects: General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: dr Luana Poliseli
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2021 00:16
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2021 00:16
Item ID: 19665
Official URL:
Subjects: General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 2021

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