Within the scope of the problem of demarcation there seems to be an implicit distinction between pseudoscience and non-science. Trying to make explicit what such distinction might be, I wonder: Does the difference between pseudoscience and non-science amount simply to the fact that the former "pretends to be scientific" whereas the latter does not? --- What does it really mean for some theory "to pretend to be scientific"? (And, could it be that theories we might consider pseudoscientific at present time, would turn in future into scientific ones (just as it happens from time to time with non-scientific theories that evolve into scientific ones?))

  • 3
    You might also find useful information in the following answer: philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/22820/… Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:37
  • 1
    Thanks a lot; sorry - was not aware of these. I asked a slightly different question but those you refer me to will do perfectly fine, as they're close enough. Thanks again. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:40
  • 1
    That happens a lot, no need to be sorry. That is why the mechanism for voting to close as a duplicate exists.
    – user9166
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 1:14
  • 1
    Oh I see...Well, thanks for this thoughtful sensitive note. Will keep it in mind. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


I think that pseudoscience is a field that makes scientific claims but is not science, thus giving off the impression that it is scientific. I think it's important to not make it something the practitioner does (such as "pretends to be science") because even if someone stands up an repetitively says "I'm not doing science" that shouldn't change our perception of his field, and I do think that pseudoscience is a description of a kind of field of knowledge.

  • 4
    i think it would be more accurate to say that pseudoscience is a description of a kind of field of pseudoknowledge. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:59
  • 2
    Maybe 'pretends' is too strong, but I think claiming to be scientific is a part of pseudoscience. Astrology and numerology might well be called pseudosciences because their practioners make claims that they have predictive value and that they contribute to our understanding of how the world works. In this, their claims resemble those of science, but they are false. By contrast, aesthetics is non-science, but doesn't claim to be, so it is not pseudoscience.
    – Bumble
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 4:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .