Philosophy of Pseudoscience Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem

ISBN-10: 022605196X

ISBN-13: 9780226051963

Edition: 2013

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Description: What sets the practice of rigorously tested, sound science apart from pseudoscience? In this volume, the contributors seek to answer this question, known to philosophers of science as “the demarcation problem.” This issue has a long history in philosophy, stretching as far back as the early twentieth century and the work of Karl Popper. But by the late 1980s, scholars in the field began to treat the demarcation problem as impossible to solve and futile to ponder. However, the essays that Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry have assembled in this volume make a rousing case for the unequivocal importance of reflecting on the separation between pseudoscience and sound science.            Moreover, the demarcation problem is not a purely theoretical dilemma of mere academic interest: it affects parents’ decisions to vaccinate children and governments’ willingness to adopt policies that prevent climate change. Pseudoscience often mimics science, using the superficial language and trappings of actual scientific research to seem more respectable. Even a well-informed public can be taken in by such questionable theories dressed up as science. Pseudoscientific beliefs compete with sound science on the health pages of newspapers for media coverage and in laboratories for research funding. Now more than ever the ability to separate genuine scientific findings from spurious ones is vital, and The Philosophy of Pseudoscience provides ground for philosophers, sociologists, historians and laypeople to make decisions about what science is or isn’t.  

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 8/16/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Maarten Boudry is a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research at Ghent University and wrote a dissertation on pseudoscience, Here Be Dragons: Exploring the Hinterland of Science.��

Introduction: Why the Demarcation Problem Matters
What's the Problem with the Demarcation Problem?
The Demarcation Problem: A (Belated) Response to Laudan
Science and Pseudoscience: How to Demarcate after the (Alleged) Demise of the Demarcation Problem
Toward a Demarcation of Science from Pseudoscience
Defining Pseudoscience and Science
Loki's Wager and Laudan's Error: On Genuine and Territorial Demarcation
History and Sociology of Pseudoscience
The Problem of Demarcation: History and Future
Science, Pseudoscience, and Science Falsely So-Called
Paranormalism and Pseudoscience as Deviance
Belief Buddies versus Critical Communities: The Social Organization of Pseudoscience
The Borderlands Between Science and Pseudoscience
Science and the Messy, Uncontrollable World of Nature
Science and Pseudoscience: The Difference in Practice and the Difference It Makes
Evolution: From Pseudoscience to Popular Science, from Popular Science to Professional Science
Science and the Supernatural
Is a Science of the Supernatural Possible?
Navigating the Landscape between Science and Religious Pseudoscience: Can Hume Help?
True Believers and their Tactics
Argumentation and Pseudoscience: The Cose for an Ethics of Argumentation
Why Alternative Medicine Can Be Scientifically Evaluated: Countering the Evasions of Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience: The Case of Freud's Sexual Etiology of the Neuroses
The Holocaust Denier's Playbook and the Tobacco Smokescreen: Common Threads in the Thinking and Tactics of Denialists and Pseudoscientists
The Cognitive Roots of Pseudoscience
Evolved to Be Irrational?: Evolutionary and Cognitive Foundations of Pseudosciences
Werewolves in Scientists' Clothing: Understanding Pseudoscientific Cognition
The Salem Region: Two Mindsets about Science
Pseudoscience and Idiosyncratic Theories of Rational Belief
Agentive Thinking and Illusions of Understanding
Contributors
Index
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