Pragmatism and/on Science and Scientism
Eds. Pietro Gori & Rachel Cristy

Issue XVI-1 of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy has just been published on “Pragmatism and/on Science and Scientism“. The issue was edited by CultureLab member Pietro Gori and Rachel Cristy (King’s College London) and is available in open access.

Pragmatism was born and has grown up in the shadow of the extraordinary success of modern science, and has had an ambivalent relationship with it since its origin. Pragmatist attitudes can be encountered in major thinkers in the history and the philosophy of science who have engaged critically with questions about the nature and value of scientific knowledge; furthermore, pragmatism walks hand in hand with naturalism, given the interest of classic pragmatists in demanding natural, as opposed to supernatural, answers to our philosophical questions, and their tendency to recast and recontextualize traditional philosophical issues in frameworks provided by empirical science. However, pragmatist thinkers almost always rejected scientism, understood as an attitude of science-worship involving an uncritical faith in the methods of the modern sciences and a quasi-religious faith in the overriding value of the scientific enterprise. Broadly speaking, it is possible to say that pragmatism challenges scientism, protecting the original nature of lived experience from rationalism and scientific materialism.

The aim of this symposium is to explore the relationship of pragmatist philosophy with both science and scientism throughout the history of the tradition, from Peirce’s analysis of the representation and implementation of scientific concepts to Brandom’s contemporary pragmatic reappropriation of Hegelian epistemology for the understanding of scientific theories.