Home Re/formation Institute SCIENTISM AND THE HUMANITIES
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:37

"The chemist Peter Atkins’s claim that natural science has a “universal competence” serves as a concise definition of scientism. More generally, scientism is the idea that there is no human knowledge outside of the domain of the natural sciences.

"As the analytic philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued, equating all knowledge with natural science is a logically incoherent position, because science itself cannot provide us with any reason for believing that science is true. More precisely, the statement that all knowledge is (or potentially could be) scientific — the product of scientific methods — is itself not a scientific statement; it defeats its own universal claim. We must go outside of natural science, into the domain of philosophy, in order to establish the theoretical foundation for scientific knowledge. This foundation includes, for example, the notion that the universe is an ordered and intelligible system, an idea that has its roots in Judeo-Christian theology and in Greek philosophy. It is not a finding of science, but is rather the theoretical basis that makes science possible, and in light of which scientists seek resolutions between conflicting findings and theories."


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