Context: Superstitions, dogmas and various kinds of unexamined belief-systems are rife in almost all populations around the world, and all demographic classifications. While some are easily spotted (e.g. cat crossing ones path), others are integrated into our daily lives and therefore difficult to spot (e.g. living in debt as individuals and communities is indefinitely sustainable). Such belief-systems exist in secular domains such as economics, politics, business and technology. Some clusters of unexamined belief-systems or memes are called religions, and these are protected by taboos and restrictions on critically examining them.

Question: Does a specific branch of philosophy study unexamined belief-systems? What is it called, and who are its chief theorists/experts?

closed as off-topic by virmaior Sep 30 '15 at 0:08

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been [moved to chat](chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/29692/… – virmaior Sep 30 '15 at 0:10
  • I've also closed the question as it appears to be about something that is not in the purview of philosophy as generally understood. – virmaior Sep 30 '15 at 0:10

As far as I know, there is no specific branch of philosophy that deals with superstitions. Philosophy, within its various subsets, can be thought of as the study and justification of beliefs so, for example, within theology religious superstitions will be assessed. However, there is no specific discipline tasked with finding superstitions and debunking them.


There exist several organisations to investigate results from parascience. One of the German organsations (GWUP = Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften = Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences) you find at www.gwup.org. The organisation describes itself:

The GWUP regards the critical contemplation of unproven claims in fields such as parasciences, esotericism, superstition, religion and alternative medicine as its main goal.

Because your questions also refers to religion: Religious studies, with its subfields Psychology of religion and Sociology of religion, investigate religions from a scientific point of view.

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