I agree with Graham Harman that scientism is rampant today, including within Continental Philosophy. One variant, mathematicism or the reduction of all reality to mathematics, is becoming ever more popular. Scientism usually involves a homogenising synthesis of past results, plus a vague promissory note that some day in the future everything as yet unexplained by science will come under its scope. The mode of thought active in scientific research is constructive, as Latour and Feyerabend have emphasised. I tend to agree with Badiou that the subjectivation of science is not any nihilistic affect but happiness (see METAPHYSIQUE DU VRAI BONHEUR).
Here are the first two sentences of STEVEN HORST’S REVIEW of a Williams/Robinson anthology on the topic:
“This volume consists of an introduction and eight essays, each critical of something described as scientism. ‘Scientism’, however, is a term used only by its critics — nobody describes his or her own views as scientistic.”
Not true. Horst should read Ladyman & Ross, Every Thing Must Go, whose candor in defending scientism is the best thing about it.
Let’s not pretend that there’s no such thing as scientism. There is a large group of people, now from a continental background as well, who truly think that the task of philosophers is to serve as the retroactive bootlicks of scientific work that has already been done. For this school of thought, the purpose of philosophy is to provide a flattering meta-commentary on why science is so great and successful.
Worse yet, there is…
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