1st Edition

Wittgenstein and Scientism

ISBN 9780367871703
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $47.95

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Book Description

Wittgenstein criticised prevailing attitudes toward the sciences. The target of his criticisms was ‘scientism’: what he described as ‘the overestimation of science’. This collection is the first study of Wittgenstein’s anti-scientism - a theme in his work that is clearly central to his thought yet strikingly neglected by the existing literature.

The book explores the philosophical basis of Wittgenstein’s anti-scientism; how this anti-scientism helps us understand Wittgenstein’s philosophical aims; and how this underlies his later conception of philosophy and the kind of philosophy he attacked.

An outstanding team of international contributors articulate and critically assess Wittgenstein’s views on scientism and anti-scientism, making Wittgenstein and Scientism essential reading for students and scholars of Wittgenstein’s work, on topics as varied as the philosophy of mind and psychology, philosophical practice, the nature of religious belief, and the place of science in modern culture.

Contributors: Jonathan Beale, William Child, Annalisa Coliva, David E. Cooper, Ian James Kidd, James C. Klagge, Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Rupert Read, Genia Schönbaumsfeld, Severin Schroeder, Benedict Smith, and Chon Tejedor.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Wittgenstein and Scientism Jonathan Beale and Ian James Kidd

1. Scientism as a Threat to Science: Wittgenstein on Self-Subverting Methodologies Chon Tejedor

2. Superstition, Science, and Life David E. Cooper

3. Rituals, Philosophy, Science, and Progress: Wittgenstein on Frazer Annalisa Coliva

4. Wittgenstein’s Anti-scientistic World View Jonathan Beale

5. Wittgenstein, Scientism, and Anti-Scientism in the Philosophy of Mind William Child

6. Reawakening to Wonder: Wittgenstein, Feyerabend, and Scientism Ian James Kidd

7. "Too Ridiculous for Words": Wittgenstein on Scientific Aesthetics Severin Schroeder

8. How to Think about the Climate Crisis, via Precautionary Reasoning: A Wittgensteinian Case-study in Overcoming Scientism Rupert Read

9. The Myth of the Quietist Wittgenstein Danièle Moyal-Sharrock

10. Meaning Scepticism, and Scientism Genia Schönbaumsfeld

11. Wittgenstein, Science, and the Evolution of Concepts James C. Klagge

12. Wittgenstein, Naturalism, and Scientism Benedict Smith.



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Jonathan Beale is a Teacher of Philosophy in the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Theology at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham, UK.

Ian James Kidd is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, UK.