Scientism (Science as Ideology) is the thesis that claims that the emphirical science is at least the best source of knowledge. Two of the most important classifications of scientism are:

  1. Strong scientism, that claims empirical science as the only source of knowledge.
  2. Weak Scientism, that claim empirical science as the best source of knowledge.

I am being unable to find a clear and straigthforward refutation of this branch of scientism.

Q: So there is some clear and strightfoward refutaion of weak scientism?

  • What are strong and weak scientism ?
    – armand
    Oct 17 at 4:51
  • If you knwo about scientism you shloud know, but strong scientism affirms that the science is the only source of knowledge and weak scienticism affirms that science is the superior source of knowledge. Oct 17 at 4:54
  • Nobody can guess if you are referring to well established terms or something you came up with on your own. The more precise (and properly spelled...) your question is, the higher the probability that you will get an answer that satisfies you.
    – armand
    Oct 17 at 5:04
  • 1
    Even strong scientism taken aspirationally (all truthful claims will likely be eventually validated by science, or something like that) is not self refuting, it is similar to more careful phrasings of radical skepticism, that likewise are not. As for weak scientism, what is "best" or "superior" is in the eye of the beholder, such value judgments are not subject to "refutation" at all. See Hietanen et al., How Not to Criticise Scientism on directions that plausible critique of scientisim can and cannot take.
    – Conifold
    Oct 17 at 5:06
  • @Conifold There is a great motivation to refutate weak scientism by my part, because is virtually the only arguemt used to attack the Austrian School of Economy from Ortodox Economists, and I am trying to defend it. Oct 17 at 5:29

'Best' is a value judgement, and science is not geared to give knowledge about human values. If you ask on what 'scientific' grounds they have determined that science is the 'best' source of knowledge, you'll get:

  • incoherent ramblings or elliptical logic
  • overt statements of belief
  • scoffs, sneers, or snide remarks

What you will not get (In my experience) is anything resembling scientific analysis or evidence. If someone proves to be a tough nut to crack this way, ask more pointed questions:

  • Is science the best source of knowledge for relationship or marital problems, and if so how?
  • Is science the best source of knowledge for ending human warfare, and if so how?
  • Is science the best source of knowledge about art, music, or other matters of aesthetics, and if so how?

Scientismists (Hey! You think of a better word!) are like all 'ismists' convinced that their beliefs about the world are instead inviolable facts about the world. Getting people to de-factualize their beliefs is always a tricky proposition; it cannot be done strictly through logic or reason, but needs more of a Socratic approach. And we all remember what happened to Socrates...

  • [Erdel von Mises], can you elaborate on what you mean by "empirical science"? Does this include one's experience of one's own sensory data and emotions? Oct 19 at 1:55

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