Philosophy of Pseudoscience

Philosophy of Pseudoscience : Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem

3.72 (67 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What sets the practice of rigorously tested, sound science apart from pseudoscience? In this volume, the contributors seek to answer this question, known to philosophers of science as "the demarcation problem." This issue has a long history in philosophy, stretching as far back as the early twentieth century and the work of Karl Popper. But by the late 1980s, scholars in the field began to treat the demarcation problem as impossible to solve and futile to ponder. However, the essays that Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry have assembled in this volume make a rousing case for the unequivocal importance of reflecting on the separation between pseudoscience and sound science. Moreover, the demarcation problem is not a purely theoretical dilemma of mere academic interest: it affects parents' decisions to vaccinate children and governments' willingness to adopt policies that prevent climate change. Pseudoscience often mimics science, using the superficial language and trappings of actual scientific research to seem more respectable. Even a well-informed public can be taken in by such questionable theories dressed up as science.
Pseudoscientific beliefs compete with sound science on the health pages of newspapers for media coverage and in laboratories for research funding. Now more than ever the ability to separate genuine scientific findings from spurious ones is vital, and Philosophy of Pseudoscience provides ground for philosophers, sociologists, historians, and laypeople to make decisions about what science is or isn't.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 15 x 23 x 3mm | 737g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, United States
  • English
  • 1 halftone, 2 line drawings
  • 022605196X
  • 9780226051963
  • 519,121

Review quote

"The problem of demarcation--distinguishing credible science from pseudoscience--is a crucial one, but one that has generally been neglected in recent philosophy of science. It is the issue that underlies such topical debates as that between evolutionists and creationists or intelligent design theorists, for example. This volume does a great service by bringing an impressive range of leading philosophers of science from a wide variety of perspectives to reconsider the issue. It is much to be hoped that its publication will spark a revival of interest in this vital issue." --John Dupre "University of Exeter"
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About Massimo Pigliucci

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written many books, including Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk and, most recently, Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life. Maarten Boudry is a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research at Ghent University.
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Rating details

67 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 18% (12)
4 45% (30)
3 30% (20)
2 6% (4)
1 1% (1)
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