Category: Philosophy

Did we mention that Harvard’s Steve (scientism rules!) Pinker was getting it on all sides? Leon Wieseltier now weighs in

Science was always making progress, in the civilization whose works Wieseltier cites against Pinker. It was a fairly recent idea, espoused by people like Pinker and Sam Harris, to make it the fount of all knowledge. more

Science kitsch? Like Dawkins on a beer mug? Shermer on a chocolate wrapper?

Tyler: In Crick’s case (and many like him), the philosophy is naturalism that is presented as the essence of science. The problem then is a close-minded dogmatism about the way the world works. more

Harvard’s Steve Pinker (the defender of scientism) is getting it on all sides

The main thing to see here is that scientism is the sort of belief that the materialist is supposed to have, enforce, and then disclaim, NOT defend. more

Humanities prof to materialist Steve Pinker: Stop caricaturing us

Fair enough, but the humanities have often written their own death sentences by publicly cultivating the idea that all judgments of quality are irrelevant or suspect. If that is true, then humanities departments are expensively run group homes for people with problems with life in general. more

In Defense of Mark Frank — truth, believability, undecidability, and E-prime

[Sometimes debate at UD can be heated, and I commend Mark Frank for his temperance with his critics. If I shut down every unfriendly comment made by either side in the discussions I host, I think there wouldn't be any discussion!] There is sometimes a fine line between what is believable and what is true. […] more

On the arrogance (the insufferable patronising) of Steve Pinker and “scientism” advocates in general

Evans: Right from the get-go, he patronizes the humanities, giving his essay the sub-title, ‘an impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians’, which makes everyone in the humanities sound like losers. more

VIDEO: Jon Rittenhouse’s BB ST 450 course lecture on Scientism

Ran across this Biola video lecture (in course BB ST 450) on scientism in a thread from a few months back, HT BA77 as usual. I think it is well worth pondering: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt So, thoughts? END more

Another philosophy essay contest: Moral Non-naturalism

From Contest announcement: Few, then, could have predicted that nonnaturalism would receive fresh and vigorous defenses in the early 21st century. more

Thomas Nagel’s handy summary of his Mind & Cosmos’ theme

One reason Nagel is so hated is that he made the questions respectable. Time was when people could be put down or blacklisted just for asking or wondering whether materialism is true. more

A cell biologist’s riposte to scientism in general

Cell biologist: Increasing numbers of scientists are recognizing that current approaches to interpreting and publishing scientific data are severely flawed. more

Riposte to Steve Pinker’s scientism

Statistician: Pinker’s position seems to me to confuse — if you’ll forgive the statistics jargon — point estimates and standard errors. more

Philosophy prize for essay on “Materialism, Non-materialism and Immaterialism”

Deadline October 1, 2500 lbs. prize. Tells you something that this is the topic this year. more

If POOF was the way it happened, how could you infer it? Repeatability vs. Non-repeatability, Naturalism vs. Supernaturalism

If an unrepeatable, unobservable POOF was the way life came about, how could we scientifically infer it? Researchers of late have essentially resorted to A new mechanism of evolution — POOF. Appeals to POOF are hinted in the hopeful monster hypothesis and the mutationist/neutralist school of evolution and even punctuated equilibrium. And when Koonin appealed […] more

New biography of maverick Nicola Tesla

The one we quoted recently on non-physical phenomena. David Bowie played him in a film. more

PZ Myers Criticizes Steven Pinker’s Scientism – Pot and Kettle?

On August 6th, Steven Pinker, the well-known Psychology Professor from Harvard, had an article in New Republic entitled Science is Not Your Enemy, in which he lambasts those who decry scientists for propounding scientism.  You’d expect rebuttals of Pinker to come from the likes of Wesley J. Smith who indeed took Pinker to task in […] more

Full text of W. H. Newton-Smith’s The Rationality of Science (1981) now available free online

… scientists (even physical scientists) are a fickle lot. The history of science is a tale of multifarious shiftings of allegiance from theory to theory. more

Philosopher: Plants are people too.

It’s all too crazy in the academic world; there are no hoaxes any more. more

Darwinian materialist Steve Pinker reassures us that scientism is not the enemy

Sorry, Steve, you lost us when you explained that our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. After that, even if what you say is true, like, why should we care? more

Science: An unhealthy obsession with monsters …

… gave rise to it? more

William Murray, here’s the latest scholarly assault on free will

Fried’s is a more eloquent plea to ignore free will than most, because it relies heavily on the plight of the most unfortunate members of our society, but it stumbles on the same rock. more

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