Science & Scientism are not the same. You can value the former while rejecting latter

C C Offline

EXCERPTS: . . . In yesterday’s post, Marcelo discussed how people like Francis Bacon established methods back in the 16th and 17th centuries that would go on to become formalized as “scientific practice.” This way of asking nature questions and getting back answers turned out to powerful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams...

But as the method’s success was being worked out, a philosophical perspective about the nature of the world also emerged. This philosophy attached itself to science and got to bask in the reflected glory. In this philosophy, the meaning of the word “objective” shifted in an important way. That shift represents one way scientism begins.

In scientific practice, “objective” simply means that two people do an experiment and get the same result. [...] Since anyone, anywhere, and at any time can carry forward the recipe and repeat the experiment, if everyone gets the same result, then that result is said to be objectively true. It becomes a collectively established fact about our shared experience of the world.

In the philosophy that would come to underpin scientism, “objective” came to mean something more like “the world without us.” In this view, science was a means of gaining access to a perfectly objective world that had nothing to do with humans. It gave us a “God’s eye view” or a “perspective-less perspective.” Science, according to this philosophy, revealed to us the “real world,” which was the world independent of us. Therefore, its truths were “deeper” than others, and all aspects of our experience must, eventually, reduce down to the truths that science reveals. This is scientism.

Now I am a passionate scientist who is passionate about science, but I also think scientism is a huge mistake. [...] Without doubt, science is unique, powerful, and wonderful. It should be celebrated, and it needs to be protected. Scientism, on the other hand, is just metaphysics, and there are lots and lots of metaphysical beliefs. You do not need to believe in the existence of a perfect and perfectly accessible “God’s eye view” of reality to believe in the power and value of science... (MORE - missing details)
Magical Realist Offline
I've read numerous quotes by physicists like Schrodinger and Heisenberg and Mach and Bohr and John Wheeler offering a more mental somewhat platonic metaphysic of science. Quantum physics (Copenhagen version) seems prone to a non-physicalist philosophical interpretation of reality. IOW, a reality made of information and variables and not objective particles:

“And a new philosophy emerged called quantum physics, which suggests that the individual’s function is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you’re in a field sharing and exchanging information. You create the realities you inhabit.”
― Timothy Leary, Chaos & Cyber Culture

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