Scientism as a Threat to Science: Wittgenstein on Self-Subversion.
Dr Chon Tejedor
October 17tth, 2016
@ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
The Bloomsbury Institute, 50 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3DP
About the Speaker
Dr Chon Tejedor joined the University of Hertfordshire in September 2014.
Before that, Chon was for 12 years Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where she remains as Philosophy Research Fellow (Regent’s Park College). Chon is the BWS Editor
Much of the literature presents Wittgenstein as concerned with one particular form of "scientism": scientism understood as the application of scientific practices to areas of our lives in which these practices do not belong. In this view, Wittgenstein’s primary concern over scientism is that science should not overreach its purview: the scientific approach is legitimate within the boundaries of factual enquiry, but should not encroach into other areas – in particular, religion and ethics – where different standards and criteria apply. This understanding of Wittgenstein’s preoccupation with scientism is not unfounded and certainly comes to the fore in some of his writings. I propose to show, however, that too narrow a focus on this aspect of Wittgenstein’s treatment of scientism distorts both the nature of his preoccupation with scientism and his thinking on science. This, at any rate, is the picture that emerges when we consider this question from the perspective of his early remarks on science, in the Tractatus and ‘A Lecture on Ethics’.