The Blind Spot of Science


I see this article as a sort of intellectual bait and switch.

I agree wholeheartedly with what I am calling bait. Namely, there is much more to knowledge than science and lived human experience is one key to exploring the knowledge that science cannot give us. I’d say philosophy is fundamental in that exploration, but others may see a role for revelation or mysticism, both of which I exclude.

The switch is summarized by the last paragraph, which argues that we need a new way of doing science. I reject this because I don’t think philosophers can dictate how science is done.

When I read articles like this, I wonder who exactly the authors see as their opponents? Who beyond a narrow group of philosophically-ignorant scientists and extreme reductionist philosophers believes in the extreme scientism the authors decry?

Are the authors exaggerating the prevalence of that scientism to score debating points for their own viewpoint?

I recognize it is probably unfair for me to ascribe that motivation. But I do it in the spirit of stimulating discussion! Perhaps that was their motive too.

It’s not clear to me what knowledge you think is gained through “lived human experience” that could not be scientifically analyzed? Can you elaborate?

Moral knowledge. Scientific input is important to determine empirical ground for human flourishing, but science alone cannot determine moral standards.

ETA: Just to be clear, if we take knowledge as Justified True Belief, then I am saying that philosophical arguments can provide justification that is not available solely through science. I also need to be able to convincingly argue for a theory of truth that avoids truth as solely defined by correspondence to our shared physical world, since I agree that science is the only way to seek such truths.

Many pontifications by me on this topic on TSZ in Science and Supernatural OP; I am not sure if it is worth plagiarizing myself by repeating them here.

Knowledge of social conventions – which turns out to be a huge part of our knowledge.