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RS115 - Maarten Boudry and Massimo On the Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience

Release date: August 24, 2014

Maarten Boudry

In our first mini-interview episode Massimo sits down to chat with his colleague Maarten Boudry, a philosopher of science from the University of Ghent in Belgium. Maarten recently co-edited the volume on The Philosophy of Pseudoscience (Chicago Press) with Massimo, and the two chat about the difference between science and pseudoscience and why it is an important topic not just in philosophy circles, but in the broader public arena as well.

Reader Comments (7)

What do you call someone who espouses scientism?

August 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMax

Massimo, it seems like your trying to define science from a cultural heritage perspective as opposed to a "these are the principles that make up the thing we call science so if you follow these principles, you are being scientifiic"... The problem you seem to be trying to address is that some people think scientific activities are inherently more valuable and self justifying than any other value or activity, which can get highly problematic when an activity could be scientific, but would violate moral principles, less so when there are cultural traditions that aren't directly tied to moral principles, but at that point, it becomes much more about what traditions really are more valuable than just what the empirical conclusions are as far as what you want to perpetuate in society, which is a philosophical discussion of course.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Late to the party, I'm afraid. A very interesting chat as always. In unguarded moments tho I detect a certain disturbing undercurrent. For Maarten Boudry the most incontrovertible examples of pseudoscience are 'astrology and holocaust-denial'! That is so unreasonable, on so many levels. Later he exclaimed 'pseudoscience kills!" That does not sound like a particularly nuanced statement from the author of a book about the still unsolved, perhaps unsolvable, demarcation problem. Really, weigh Tuskeegee, Mengele, Hiroshima, drones, laser weapons, oxycontin overdoses, where to stop, against the worst sins of the homeopaths. There seems to be a misdirected indignation, or the implication that all harm must lie on the side of pseudoscience. Is this concentration on pseudoscience a way of dealing with the question of science/values: pseudoscience bad ('kills'); ergo, science good -- end of story?

December 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark Shulgasser

I heard many times in this podcast the "Biden switch", but I don't know how to write it, I tried many variations on google but failed to get anything. Can somebody help me?

January 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGuillaume Bourgault

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March 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYatin
informative blog
A good understanding of philosophy can benefit the scientific mind. We should describe some "sciences" such as Political "Science" and Social "Science" as simply Politics and Sociology.
December 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJameson

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