Against Scientism

Steven Pinker understands the limits of scientific knowledge no better than the fundamentalist understands the limits of biblical knowledge. In a recent high-profile debate, Steven Pinker defended science against Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic, who for his part ably defended the humanities against Pinker. Wieseltier says that Pinker’s position is “scientism,” to which Pinker responds that “scientism” is a “boo-word,” the meaning of which is more emotive than conceptual. But Wieseltier uses the term with all due precision: scientism takes the paradigm for knowledge and truth to be the knowledge and truth gained by the natural sciences. To the extent tha

This is Member-Only Content

To access, click here to activate a Digital Subscription with a 2-Week Free Trial (no credit card required).