Putting Scientism on the Philosophical Agenda

René van Woudenberg*, Rik Peels, Jeroen de Ridder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptAcademic


This introductory chapter puts scientism in context and provides an initial overview of issues that are relevant to scientism. It argues that scientism ought to be on the philosophical agenda, because the truth or falsity of scientism matters a great deal for our self-understanding, the life of the mind, science, and various social practices. Scientism has deep roots in Western philosophical history; among its predecessors and sources of inspiration are empiricism, August Comte’s positivism, and logical positivism. A core question for scientism is what exactly science is, but even a quick glance at the history of thinking about science reveals that answering this question is notoriously difficult. The chapter also provides a quick survey of arguments for and against scientism, and it closes with a preview of the rest of the book.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScientism
Subtitle of host publicationProspects and Problems
EditorsJeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, Rneé van Woudenberg
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780190462758
ISBN (Print)9780190462758
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Putting Scientism on the Philosophical Agenda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this