What’s so bad about Scientism?

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Mizrahi, Moti
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In their attempt to defend philosophy from accusations of uselessness made by prominent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, some philosophers respond with the charge of “scientism.” This charge makes endorsing a scientistic stance a mistake by definition. For this reason, it begs the question against these critics of philosophy, or anyone who is inclined to endorse a scientistic stance, and turns the scientism debate into a verbal dispute. In this paper, I propose a different definition of scientism, and thus a new way of looking at the scientism debate. Those philosophers who seek to defend philosophy against accusations of uselessness would do philosophy a much better service, I submit, if they were to engage with the definition of scientism put forth in this paper, rather than simply make it analytic that scientism is a mistake.