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Scientism is one of the main trends of current thought, in Academia as well as in the public sphere. Here are two of its most popular assertions:
1) Science is our only tool for finding the truth.
2) The field of philosophy is irrelevant.
The first claim is plainly false, the second one is bizarre.
The first claim contradicts itself: if it’s true, than there is such thing as truth (and, since truth is a philosophical concept, there is a true philosophical definition of truth), there is such a thing as science (the same) and, furthermore, there must be a complete philosophical account of how exactly science discovers the truth, and this account must be true itself. In other words, the mere idea that science discovers truths already implies that there are at least three philosophical truths, even though we might not yet know what these truths are.
We can also play a little more: if science exists, then there is a true philosophical definition of existence; if there is a true philosophical definition of existence, there is a true definition of philosophy and so on. Philosophy, to put it in elegant words, is unavoidable.
Now to the second claim: it says that philosophy is irrelevant, but this assertion raises one question: relevant for what?? For improving people’s lives? In that case, I must say not only that a lot of philosophy is very relevant (just look at philosophical concepts such as democracy and freedom of speech, besides the fact that many people derive enjoyment from reading philosophy books akin to that derived from literature), but also that 99% of science research is only relevant to a few eccentric specialists. For discovering things about how the world works? Well then, but that’s not really the goal of philosophy, so the criticism becomes totally irrelevant – it’s like saying literature is irrelevant because no writer has ever created a great symphony. For science? Well, this may be true – although it actually isn’t -, but even then philosophy does not exist to help the scientist do his work.
It seems to me that scientists are just mad that philosophy departments receive the money they would like to receive in order to continue their mostly useless research, and therefore are criticizing the field without having properly studied it. No one besides a few virgin geeks cares if there are aliens on a galaxy far, far away, Mr. Tyson, but half the world cares about justice, morality, and freedom. I say we should give less money to math/physics/astronomy departments and more to ethics, informal logic and political science.