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Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels, and Rene van Woudenberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190462758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190462758.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2021

Is Scientism Epistemically Vicious?

Is Scientism Epistemically Vicious?

(p.149) 6 Is Scientism Epistemically Vicious?

Ian James Kidd

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a virtue epistemological framework for making sense of the common complaint that scientism is arrogant, dogmatic, or otherwise epistemically vicious. After characterizing scientism in terms of stances, it argues that their components can include epistemically vicious dispositions, with the consequence that an agent who adopts such stances can be led to manifest epistemic vices. The main focus of the chapter is the vice of closed-mindedness, but the idea that arrogance and dogmatism are “cooperative vices” is also considered: vices liable to be activated by closed-mindedness. The chapter concludes that determining whether or not any given stance is vicious will require sensitivity to the ontology of that stance and the psychology of the agents who adopt them. This would be contributing to our understanding both of scientism and of epistemically virtuous and vicious characters or psychologies.

Keywords:   virtue epistemology, vice epistemology, closed-mindedness, dogmatism, arrogance, Susan Haack, Jason Baehr, scientistic stance

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