Ten Reasons to Embrace Scientism

Published Paper

Title: Ten Reasons to Embrace Scientism
Author: Rik Peels
Journal: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science xxx (2017) 1e11


Abstract
A strong version of scientism, such as that of Alex Rosenberg, says, roughly, that natural science reliably
delivers rational belief or knowledge, whereas common sense sources of belief, such as moral intuition,
memory, and introspection, do not. In this paper I discuss ten reasons that adherents of scientism have or
might put forward in defence of scientism. The aim is to show which considerations could plausibly
count in favour of scientism and what this implies for the way scientism ought to be formulated. I argue
that only three out of these ten reasons potentially hold water and that the evidential weight is,
therefore, on their shoulders. These three reasons for embracing scientism are, respectively, particular
empirical arguments to the effect that there are good debunking explanations for certain common sense
beliefs, that there are incoherences and biases in the doxastic outputs of certain common sense sources
of belief, and that beliefs that issue from certain common sense doxastic sources are illusory. From what I
argue, it follows that only a version of scientism that is significantly weaker than many versions of
scientism that we find in the literature is potentially tenable.

Read the paper here.