Is Scientism Epistemically Vicious?

In Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels & Rene van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems. Oxford University Press. pp. 222-249 (2017)
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This chapter offers a virtue epistemological framework for making sense of the common complaint that scientism is arrogant, dogmatic, or otherwise epistemically vicious. After characterising scientism in terms of stances, I argue that their components can include epistemically vicious dispositions, with the consequence that an agent who adopts such stances can be led to manifest epistemic vices. The main focus of the chapter is the vice of closed-mindedness, but I go on to consider the idea that arrogance and dogmatism are ‘cooperative vices’, ones liable to be activated by closed-mindedness. I conclude that determining whether or not any given stance is vicious will require sensitivity to the ontology of that stance and the psychology of the agents who adopt them. This would be contribute to our understanding both of scientism and of epistemic virtuous and vicious characters or psychologies



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Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University

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What’s so bad about scientism?Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - Social Epistemology 31 (4):351-367.
Scientism and Scientific Imperialism.Jonathan Beale - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (1):73-102.

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