Friday, July 20, 2012

[PHI 3000] Scientism & Nihilism

Scientism is an epistemological view that can be understood in at least two ways:
  • Science is our only source of knowledge about the world.
  • Science is our best source of knowledge about the world.
Nihilism is a radical form of skepticism about values. For a nihilist, nothing is worthy of belief and/or loyalty.

Now, Massimo Pigliucci claims that "scientism leads to nihilism." What do you think he means by that?

Surely, scientism doesn't logically entail nihilism. After all, those who endorse scientism are not skeptics; they think that we can have knowledge about the world. In addition, those who endorse scientism value science as a source of knowledge about the world. And they don't seem to be contradicting themselves.

So in what sense does scientism "lead to" nihilism?

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