Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Scientism


core definition

Scientism is a derrogatory term applied by opponents to those who argue that the human sciences require no methods other than those of the natural sciences.


explanatory context

Scientism is also used in a different and less precise way by 'scientific conservatives' to refer to practices which pretend to be scientific but which they claim are not.


analytical review

Counterbalance Foundation (undated) Glossary entry for scientism states:

Unlike the use of the scientific method as only one mode of reaching knowledge, scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality. Scientism's single-minded adherence to only the empirical, or testable, makes it a strictly scientifc worldview, in much the same way that a Protestant fundamentalism that rejects science can be seen as a strictly religious worldview. Scientism sees it necessary to do away with most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims, as the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method. In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

positivism

scientific method


Sources

Counterbalance Foundation, undated, 'Scientism', available at http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/index-frame.html, accessed 13 April 2013, still available 28 December 2016.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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