In fact, [Feyerabend] argues, science is predicated on the denial of experience, on squeezing the rich variety of the world as we know it in everyday life into a kind of desiccated Procrustean bed. For whatever doesn't fit the picture of reality as made up of meaningless, mathematically definable elements is simply not allowed to count as real or "objective," but is relegated to the realm of illusory appearances. With this Feyerabend has no quarrel as long as it is understood to be merely one approach to understanding the world among others, with its own strengths and limitations. The trouble is with the pretense that this scientific picture of the world is the only legitimate one, and gives an exhaustive account of reality. For one thing, this pretense is incoherent. For if, like Gnostics, those beholden to scientism claim that the world of commonsense experience is illusory, then they can hardly appeal to experience as an evidential basis for science.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
… The Claremont Institute - Science and Scientism. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)