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Even if we take that at face value, it’s a refutation of positivism, not scientism.
The issue before us is not whether we can make meaningful but nonscientific statements about the world.
In this it differs from religion, which points to sources of evidence, such as personal experience or the contents of holy texts, that are considered by many to be of highly dubious validity. Of course, if you are talking about empirical matters it is true. As one who has an undergraduate degree in mathematics, I am half inclined to Platonism, thinking it describes an ideal world of ultimate reality. Reducing science to “generalizing from experience” seems awfully limiting.
You want to find out about geology, go to a scientist and not to the Bible. I would have thought that mathematical modeling and deductive reasoning are part of the standard toolkit of science, meaning that mathematical knowledge is hardly a counterexample to scientism.
Many people argue, for example, that we learn facts about morality by reading the Bible. Moreover, science clearly has a big role to play in moral reasoning, by uncovering facts about the world that most people would regard as relevant to moral judgments.
I wonder, then, why Ruse considers moral assertions to be such a devastating retort to Barash.
But there is so much more about genuine knowledge of the world that science simply doesn’t even touch. Moreover, it is not so clear that mathematics is not a matter of generalizing from experience.
Now, if you read Barash’s post you will find that he pretty clearly was considering empirical matters. Mathematicians study abstract objects, but those objects, in most cases, originate from a consideration of the world.
The issue here isn’t meaningfulness, it’s knowledge.
Even if we grant that scientism is not itself the conclusion of a scientific investigation, that would not imply that scientism is false.
That is, it is a convention established because it is useful.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating