Wittgenstein and Scientism

Wittgenstein and Scientism

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Wittgenstein criticised prevailing attitudes toward the sciences. The target of his criticisms was `scientism': what he described as `the overestimation of science'. This collection is the first study of Wittgenstein's anti-scientism - a theme in his work that is clearly central to his thought yet strikingly neglected by the existing literature.

The book explores the philosophical basis of Wittgenstein's anti-scientism; how this anti-scientism helps us understand Wittgenstein's philosophical aims; and how this underlies his later conception of philosophy and the kind of philosophy he attacked.

An outstanding team of international contributors articulate and critically assess Wittgenstein's views on scientism and anti-scientism, making Wittgenstein and Scientism essential reading for students and scholars of Wittgenstein's work, on topics as varied as the philosophy of mind and psychology, philosophical practice, the nature of religious belief, and the place of science in modern culture.

Contributors: Jonathan Beale, William Child, Annalisa Coliva, David E. Cooper, Ian James Kidd, James C. Klagge, Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, Rupert Read, Genia Schoenbaumsfeld, Severin Schroeder, Benedict Smith, and Chon Tejedor.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 19.05mm | 499g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138829390
  • 9781138829398

Table of contents

Introduction: Wittgenstein and Scientism Jonathan Beale and Ian James Kidd

1. Scientism as a Threat to Science: Wittgenstein on Self-Subverting Methodologies Chon Tejedor

2. Superstition, Science, and Life David E. Cooper

3. Rituals, Philosophy, Science, and Progress: Wittgenstein on Frazer Annalisa Coliva

4. Wittgenstein's Anti-scientistic World View Jonathan Beale

5. Wittgenstein, Scientism, and Anti-Scientism in the Philosophy of Mind William Child

6. Reawakening to Wonder: Wittgenstein, Feyerabend, and Scientism Ian James Kidd

7. "Too Ridiculous for Words": Wittgenstein on Scientific Aesthetics Severin Schroeder

8. How to Think about the Climate Crisis, via Precautionary Reasoning: A Wittgensteinian Case-study in Overcoming Scientism Rupert Read

9. The Myth of the Quietist Wittgenstein Daniele Moyal-Sharrock

10. Meaning Scepticism, and Scientism Genia Schoenbaumsfeld

11. Wittgenstein, Science, and the Evolution of Concepts James C. Klagge

12. Wittgenstein, Naturalism, and Scientism Benedict Smith.


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Review quote

"A volume of fascinating and eminently valuable chapters. It successfully highlights the resources Wittgenstein brought to bear in resisting scientism not only within our culture and general world-view, but also in specific activities such as the philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, philosophy of anthropology, philosophy of language, and aesthetics. Looking forward and further afield, it also indicates a range of ways in which his critique might be developed, and have a bearing on other sites of scientism." - John Preston, University of Reading, UK
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About Jonathan Beale

Jonathan Beale is a Teacher of Philosophy in the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Theology at Queen Anne's School, Caversham, UK.

Ian James Kidd is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, UK.
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