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See all condition definitions - opens in a new window or tab So no degree of commitment to beliefs makes them knowledge. Indeed, the hallmark of scientific behaviour is a certain scepticism even towards one's most cherished theories. Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue: it is an intellectual crime.

Thus a statement may be pseudoscientific even if it is eminently 'plausible' and everybody believes in it, and it may be scientifically valuable even if it is unbelievable and nobody believes in it. A theory may even be of supreme scientific value even if no one understands it, let alone believes in it. To Popper , pseudoscience uses induction to generate theories, and only performs experiments to seek to verify them.

To Popper, falsifiability is what determines the scientific status of a theory. Taking a historical approach, Kuhn observed that scientists did not follow Popper's rule, and might ignore falsifying data, unless overwhelming. To Kuhn, puzzle-solving within a paradigm is science. Lakatos attempted to resolve this debate, by suggesting history shows that science occurs in research programmes, competing according to how progressive they are. The leading idea of a programme could evolve, driven by its heuristic to make predictions that can be supported by evidence.

Feyerabend claimed that Lakatos was selective in his examples, and the whole history of science shows there is no universal rule of scientific method, and imposing one on the scientific community impedes progress. It should be noted that Feyerabend's claim was not that standard methodological rules should never be obeyed, but rather that sometimes progress is made by abandoning them.

In the absence of a generally accepted rule, there is a need for alternative methods of persuasion. According to Feyerabend, Galileo employed stylistic and rhetorical techniques to convince his reader, while he also wrote in Italian rather than Latin and directed his arguments to those already temperamentally inclined to accept them. Related concepts Analytic philosophy Antiscience Common misconception Credulity Demarcation problem List of topics characterized as pseudoscience Scientism Scientific method. The foremost modern classic on the subject Gardner bears the title Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.

According to Brian Baigrie , , '[w]hat is objectionable about these beliefs is that they masquerade as genuinely scientific ones. In contrast, science is "a set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation" p. Journal of College Science Teaching. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved April 16, Since science is our most reliable source of knowledge in a wide variety of areas, we need to distinguish scientific knowledge from its look-alikes.

Autres titres intéressants

Due to the high status of science in present-day society, attempts to exaggerate the scientific status of various claims, teachings, and products are common enough to make the demarcation issue pressing in many areas. Science Education 82 3 : — Evolution: The History of an Idea 3rd ed. University of California Press.

ThinkOlio: Nonsense On Stilts: Science, Pseudoscience & The Need For Critical Thinking

An Elementary Treatise on Human Physiology 5th ed. New York: Harper. Magendie refers to phrenology as " a pseudo-science of the present day " note the hyphen. Gauch, Hugh G.

Ingenious Nonsense By Fouad Bishay Michael

Popper: Science: Conjectures and Refutations. Conjectures and Refutations , p. New York: Avon Books. Scientific Method in Practice. Cambridge University Press. Like Lakatos, Feyerabend was also a student under Popper. In an interview with Feyerabend in Science , [he says] "Equal weight Thagard writes, at , "We can now propose the following principle of demarcation: A theory or discipline which purports to be scientific is pseudoscientific if and only if: it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems; but the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and non confirmations.

Oxford English Dictionary 3rd ed. Oxford University Press. J Theory Soc Behav 34 3 : — Oxford American Dictionary. Oxford English Dictionary. The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved National Science Foundation. Archived from the original on See Sharp Press. Retrieved on Science : — Carroll From Abracadabra to Zombies. Gallup Polls , Gallup's original report. Science and Engineering Indicators Belief in Pseudoscience see Footnote Retrieved 3 March Simanek, What is science? What is pseudoscience? Peer review -- process, perspectives and the path ahead. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge ; Thagard op cit writes: "We can now propose the following principle of demarcation: A theory or discipline which purports to be scientific is pseudoscientific if and only if: it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems; but the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations.


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ISBN Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 39 6 : — Ballantine Books. Br J Psychol 3 : — Science and Engineering Indicators Two volumes. Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada. V IV : — Fox News Channel. Retrieved Apr. On avoiding folly. Journal of Drug Issues. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 39 4 : — New York: Holt Paperbacks. In Psillos, Stathis; Curd, Martin. Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Abingdon: Routledge. Int J Nurs Pract 13 6 : — Reidel, pp.

Retrieved March 13, Vaccine journal 20 15 : — Torrance Daily Breeze. In this updated and expanded edition of "Pseudoscience and the Paranormal", the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind, psychologist and neuroscientist Terence Hines explores the question of evidence for the paranormal and delves beyond it to one that is even more puzzling: Why do people continue to believe in the reality of the supernatural despite overwhelming evidence that it does not exist?

Devoting separate chapters to psychics, life after death, parapsychology, astrology, UFOs, faith healing, alternative medicine, and many other topics, Hines examines the empirical evidence supporting these popular paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. New to this edition are extended sections on psychoanalysis and pseudopsychologies, especially recovered memory therapy, satanic ritual abuse, and facilitated communication.

Also included are new chapters on 'alternative' medicine and environmental pseudoscience.


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  • Critiquing the whole range of current paranormal claims, this carefully researched, thorough review of pseudoscience and the paranormal in contemporary life shows readers how to carefully evaluate such claims in terms of scientific evidence. This scholarly yet readable volume is an invaluable reference work for students and general readers alike. Help Centre.