Thursday, March 03, 2011

The opposite of "scientism" is???

I have had no problem labeling the thought processes of people like P.Z. Myers and Sam Harris with the tag of "scientism" at times when it was clear they were trying to address nonscientific issues from a scientific point of view. Especially with Harris, allegedly a philosopher because he has a degree in the subject, it's frustrating, off-putting, undercuts the "cause" of secularism and more.

Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci also has no problem pegging people like that.

So, it's a bit disconcerting when he says social science research into people's moral judgment thinking not only is not philosophy, but that it can't even lead to philosophy, in his perspective.

And, so, I ask, the opposite of scientism, in this case, is ...


His argument, in a nutshell, is in a comment of his near the end of the comment thread:
Similarly, we evolved the ability to make moral judgment, but that doesn't begin to equip us for professional-level moral reasoning ...
I saw "professional-level moral reasoning," which I inadvertently shortened to "professional moral reasoning" (though I don't think that significantly changed anything) and ... well, I cringed.

It's like Massimo wants to do data-free, research-free philosophy. And, even if (I'm not going to say "even though") he may not have meant it in an elitist way, it sure comes off that way, which is the main reason I cringed.

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