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Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, and Rene van Woudenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190462758.001.0001

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Philosophical Challenges for Scientism (and How to Meet Them?)

Philosophical Challenges for Scientism (and How to Meet Them?)

(p.83) 3 Philosophical Challenges for Scientism (and How to Meet Them?)

Alex Rosenberg

Oxford University Press

Scientism is expounded. Then its two major challenges are stated and responses to them sketched. The first challenge is to its epistemology of mathematics-how we know the necessary truths of mathematics. The second challenge is to the very coherence of its eliminativist account of cognition. The first of these problems is likely to be taken more seriously by philosophers than by other advocates of scientism. It is a problem that has absorbed philosophers since Plato and on which little progress has been made. The second is often unnoticed, even among those who endorse scientism, since they don’t recognize their own commitment to eliminativism and so do not appreciate the threat of incoherence it poses. It is important for scientism to acknowledge these challenges.

Keywords:   intentionality, eliminativism, epistemology, fictionalism, mathematics, folk psychology, pragmatism, teleosemantics, Hartry Field, David Lewis

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