Science Pseudo Science and Society

This volume collects the papers presented at a conference on “Science, Pseudo–science and Society,” sponsored by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities and held at the University of Calgary, May 10–12, 1979.

Author: Marsha Hanen

Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press

ISBN: 9780889207936

Category: Philosophy

Page: 314

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This volume collects the papers presented at a conference on “Science, Pseudo–science and Society,” sponsored by the Calgary Institute for the Humanities and held at the University of Calgary, May 10–12, 1979. More than many such collections, this one preserves some trace of the intellectual excitement which surrounded this gathering of scholars. A primary inspiration for the symposium on “Science, Pseudoscience, and Society” was a growing awareness of the crucial role the study of pseudo–science plays in the areas of contemporary scholarship which are concerned with the nature of science and its relationship to broader social issues. This volume is organized around three major questions concerning the relationships among science, pseudo–science, and society. The papers in the first section address the question of whether it is possible to draw a sharp demarcation between science and pseudo–science and what the criteria of that demarcation might be. The papers in the second section, recognizing the historical importance of various of the pseudo–sciences, consider their impact—positive or negative—on the development of the sciences themselves. The papers in the third section deal with the question of the relationship between the sciences and pseudo–sciences, on the one hand, and social factors on the other.
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Science and Society

The SOciology of science is no foreign intruder upon scientific knowledge in these essays, for we see clearly how Agassi transforms the tired internalistJexternalist debate about the causal influences in the history of science.

Author: Joseph Agassi

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789401164566

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 536

View: 859

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"If a science has to be supported by fraudulent means, let it perish. " With these words of Kepler, Agassi plunges into the actual troubles and glories of science (321). The SOciology of science is no foreign intruder upon scientific knowledge in these essays, for we see clearly how Agassi transforms the tired internalistJexternalist debate about the causal influences in the history of science. The social character of the entire intertwined epistemological and practical natures of the sciences is intrinsic to science and itself split: the internal sociology within science, the external sociology of the social setting without. Agassi sees these social matters in the small as well as the large: from the details of scientific communication, changing publishing as he thinks to 'on-demand' centralism with less waste (Ch. 12), to the colossal tension of romanticism and rationality in the sweep of historical cultures. Agassi is a moral and political philosopher of science, defending, dis turbing, comprehending, criticizing. For him, science in a society requires confrontation, again and again, with issues of autonomy vs. legitimation as the central problem of democracy. And furthermore, devotion to science, pace Popper, Polanyi, and Weber, carries preoccupational dangers: Popper's elitist rooting out of 'pseudo-science', Weber's hard-working obsessive . com mitment to science. See Agassi's Weberian gloss on the social psychology of science in his provocative 'picture of the scientist as maniac' (437).
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Science Pseudo science and Utopianism in Early Modern Thought

Science, Pseudo-Science, and Utopianism in Early Modern Thought shows that "pseudo-science," especially magic and alchemy, was a crucial part of the theories and experiments that produced the scientific advances of the sixteenth and ...

Author: Stephen A. McKnight

Publisher:

ISBN: MINN:31951D00882772W

Category: Science

Page: 221

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In this important interdisciplinary study, Stephen A. McKnight brings together such prominent scholars as Allen Debus, B. J. T. Dobbs, Klaus Vondung, David Walsh, and Wilbur Applebaum to discuss a major development in cultural, political, and scientific history: a new understanding of the role of magic, alchemy, and other esoteric traditions in the evolution of early modern thought. Twentieth-century historians of science have labeled these traditions "pseudo-science." In the early modern period, however, they were treasured by many philosophers, theologians, and scientists as the prisca theologia, revelations by God to the great wise men of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, including Hermes Trismegistus, Zoroaster, Moses, Pythogoras[sic], and Plato. Recent research has shown that these materials were earnestly studied by Ficino, Pico, Agrippa, Bruno, Campanella, and Bacon. Even the great patriarch of the Scientific Revolution, Isaac Newton, employed alchemical and theological elements in his work. Science, Pseudo-Science, and Utopianism in Early Modern Thought shows that "pseudo-science," especially magic and alchemy, was a crucial part of the theories and experiments that produced the scientific advances of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In addition, it shows that these traditions have a strong utopian component, depicting man as a "terrestrial god" capable of mastering nature and perfecting society. In the early modern period, this utopian theme became intertwined with the enthusiasm for scientific progress to produce the distinctly modern dream of social perfection through science. Scholars and students of history, philosophy, political science, and theology will find this a provocative addition to our understanding of the modern world.
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Pseudo Science and Society in 19th Century America

As the contributors to this volume show, the diffusion and practice of these pseudo-sciences intertwined with all the major medical, cultural, religious, and philosophical revolutions in nineteenth-century America.

Author: Arthur Wrobel

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813186757

Category: Medical

Page: 256

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Progressive nineteenth-century Americans believed firmly that human perfection could be achieved with the aid of modern science. To many, the science of that turbulent age appeared to offer bright new answers to life's age-old questions. Such a climate, not surprisingly, fostered the growth of what we now view as "pseudo-sciences" -- disciplines delicately balancing a dubious inductive methodology with moral and spiritual concerns, disseminated with a combination of aggressive entrepreneurship and sheer entertainment. Such "sciences" as mesmerism, spiritualism, homoeopathy, hydropathy, and phrenology were warmly received not only by the uninformed and credulous but also by the respectable and educated. Rationalistic, egalitarian, and utilitarian, they struck familiar and reassuring chords in American ears and gave credence to the message of reformers that health and happiness are accessible to all. As the contributors to this volume show, the diffusion and practice of these pseudo-sciences intertwined with all the major medical, cultural, religious, and philosophical revolutions in nineteenth-century America. Hydropathy and particularly homoeopathy, for example, enjoyed sufficient respectability for a time to challenge orthodox medicine. The claims of mesmerists and spiritualists appeared to offer hope for a new moral social order. Daring flights of pseudo-scientific thought even ventured into such areas as art and human sexuality. And all the pseudo-sciences resonated with the communitarian and women's rights movements. This important exploration of the major nineteenth-century pseudo-sciences provides fresh perspectives on the American society of that era and on the history of the orthodox sciences, a number of which grew out of the fertile soil plowed by the pseudo-scientists.
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Why People Believe Weird Things

"This sparkling book romps over the range of science and anti-science.

Author: Michael Shermer

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

ISBN: 1429996765

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 119

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Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.
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Critical Thinking Science and Pseudoscience

This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens.

Author: Caleb W. Lack, PhD

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

ISBN: 0826194192

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 638

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This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens. Rather than merely focusing on critical thinking grounded in philosophy and psychology, the text incorporates the perspectives of biology, physics, medicine, and other disciplines to reinforce different categories of rational explanation. The book is also distinguished by its respectful approach to individuals whose ideas are, according to the authors, deeply flawed. Accessible and engaging, it describes what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skillsóusing scientific methods--that promote it. The text also examines why critical thinking can be difficult to engage in and explores the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims. From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims. Particularly timely is the text's examination of how, using the narrative of today's "culture wars," religion and culture impact science. The authors focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information. Authored by a psychologist and a philosopher who have extensive experience teaching and writing on critical thinking and skeptical inquiry, this work will help students to strengthen their skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens. Key Features: Addresses the foundations of critical thinking and how to apply it through the popular activity of examining pseudoscience Explains why humans are vulnerable to pseudoscientific claims and how critical thinking can overcome fallacies and biases Reinforces critical thinking through multidisciplinary analyses of pseudoscience Examines how religion and culture impact science Enlightens using an engaging, entertaining approach Written by experienced and innovative scholar/educators well known in the skeptic community Features teaching resources including an Instructor's Guide and Powepoint slides
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On the Fringe

This book argues that by understanding doctrines that are often seen as antithetical to science, we can learn a great deal about how science operated in the past and does today.

Author: Michael D. Gordin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780197555781

Category: History

Page:

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Everyone has heard of the term "pseudoscience", typically used to describe something that looks like science, but is somehow false, misleading, or unproven. Many would be able to agree on a list of things that fall under its umbrella-- astrology, phrenology, UFOlogy, creationism, and eugenics might come to mind. But defining what makes these fields "pseudo" is a far more complex issue. It has proved impossible to come up with a simple criterion that enables us to differentiate pseudoscience from genuine science. Given the virulence of contemporary disputes over the denial of climate change and anti-vaccination movements--both of which display allegations of "pseudoscience" on all sides-- there is a clear need to better understand issues of scientific demarcation. On the Fringe explores the philosophical and historical attempts to address this problem of demarcation. This book argues that by understanding doctrines that are often seen as antithetical to science, we can learn a great deal about how science operated in the past and does today. This exploration raises several questions: How does a doctrine become demonized as pseudoscientific? Who has the authority to make these pronouncements? How is the status of science shaped by political or cultural contexts? How does pseudoscience differ from scientific fraud? Michael D. Gordin both answers these questions and guides readers along a bewildering array of marginalized doctrines, looking at parapsychology (ESP), Lysenkoism, scientific racism, and alchemy, among others, to better understand the struggle to define what science is and is not, and how the controversies have shifted over the centuries. On the Fringe provides a historical tour through many of these fringe fields in order to provide tools to think deeply about scientific controversies both in the past and in our present.
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Encyclopedia of the Scientific Revolution

With unprecedented current coverage of the profound changes in the nature and practice of science in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, this comprehensive reference work addresses the individuals, ideas, and institutions that ...

Author: Wilbur Applebaum

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135582555

Category: History

Page: 800

View: 273

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With unprecedented current coverage of the profound changes in the nature and practice of science in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, this comprehensive reference work addresses the individuals, ideas, and institutions that defined culture in the age when the modern perception of nature, of the universe, and of our place in it is said to have emerged. Covering the historiography of the period, discussions of the Scientific Revolution's impact on its contemporaneous disciplines, and in-depth analyses of the importance of historical context to major developments in the sciences, The Encyclopedia of the Scientific Revolution is an indispensible resource for students and researchers in the history and philosophy of science.
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The Great Deceit

Author: Veritas Foundation (New York, N.Y.)

Publisher:

ISBN: UCAL:$B154940

Category: Socialism

Page: 354

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Science Pseudo science Non sense and Critical Thinking

In a complex, highly technological, society, the influence of pseudo-science (as we have seen in the quotes from Lady Globes) may expand through decisions that implicate many around the world – we may be influenced by pseudo-scientific ...

Author: Gershon Ben-Shakhar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351402491

Category: Psychology

Page: 148

View: 340

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Science, Pseudo-science, Non-sense, and Critical Thinking shines an unforgiving light on popular and lucrative ‘miraculous’ practices that promise to offer answers during times of trouble. Throughout the book, the authors unfold the fallacies underlying these practices, as well as consumers’ need and desire to believe in them. Adopting a scientific approach, the book critically evaluates research into cold-reading practices, such as those that claim to be able to communicate with the afterlife or posess supernatural powers, before considering a range of pseudo-sciences including graphology and polygraph interrogation, exposing the pretensions of these practices in a clear and logical fashion. The book seeks to encourage critical thinking throughout, asking whether there is any scientific evidence to support these practitioners’ abilities to supply us with reliable answers, and discussing the various factors that comprise the psychological mechanism of belief. Written in a fluent and accessible style, Science, Pseudo-science, Non-sense, and Critical Thinking is aimed at interested professionals and the public at large.
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Pseudoscience

Foreword: Navigating a Post-Truth World: Ten Enduring Lessons from the Study of Pseudoscience xi Scott O. Lilienfeld ... of the Sciences 77 Dean Keith Simonton II What Pseudoscience Costs Society 101 5 Food-o-science Pseudoscience: The ...

Author: Allison B. Kaufman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262344821

Category: Science

Page: 536

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Case studies, personal accounts, and analysis show how to recognize and combat pseudoscience in a post-truth world. In a post-truth, fake news world, we are particularly susceptible to the claims of pseudoscience. When emotions and opinions are more widely disseminated than scientific findings, and self-proclaimed experts get their expertise from Google, how can the average person distinguish real science from fake? This book examines pseudoscience from a variety of perspectives, through case studies, analysis, and personal accounts that show how to recognize pseudoscience, why it is so widely accepted, and how to advocate for real science. Contributors examine the basics of pseudoscience, including issues of cognitive bias; the costs of pseudoscience, with accounts of naturopathy and logical fallacies in the anti-vaccination movement; perceptions of scientific soundness; the mainstream presence of “integrative medicine,” hypnosis, and parapsychology; and the use of case studies and new media in science advocacy. Contributors David Ball, Paul Joseph Barnett, Jeffrey Beall, Mark Benisz, Fernando Blanco, Ron Dumont, Stacy Ellenberg, Kevin M. Folta, Christopher French, Ashwin Gautam, Dennis M. Gorman, David H. Gorski, David K. Hecht, Britt Marie Hermes, Clyde F. Herreid, Jonathan Howard, Seth C. Kalichman, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Arnold Kozak, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emilio Lobato, Steven Lynn, Adam Marcus, Helena Matute, Ivan Oransky, Chad Orzel, Dorit Reiss, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Kavin Senapathy, Dean Keith Simonton, Indre Viskontas, John O. Willis, Corrine Zimmerman
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The distinction between falsification and refutation in the demarcation problem of Karl Popper

For argumentation, I used the main works of Popper dealing with this issue, and his main critics and supporters.

Author: Nicolae Sfetcu

Publisher: MultiMedia Publishing

ISBN: 9786060332077

Category: Philosophy

Page: 38

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Despite the criticism of Karl Popper's falsifiability theory for the demarcation between science and non-science, mainly pseudo-science, this criterion is still very useful, and perfectly valid after it was perfected by Popper and his followers. Moreover, even in his original version, considered by Lakatos as "dogmatic", Popper did not assert that this methodology is an absolute demarcation criterion: a single counter-example is not enough to falsify a theory; a theory can legitimately be saved from falsification by introducing an auxiliary hypothesis. Compared to Kuhn's theory of revolutions, which he himself later dissociated from it transforming it into a theory of "micro-revolutions," I consider that Popper's demarcation methodology, along with the subsequent development proposed by him, including the corroboration and the verisimilitude, though imperfect, is not only valid today, but it is still the best demarcation methodology. For argumentation, I used the main works of Popper dealing with this issue, and his main critics and supporters. After a brief presentation of Karl Popper, and an introduction to the demarcation problem and the falsification methodology, I review the main criticisms and the arguments of his supporters, emphasizing the idea that Popper has never put the sign of equality between falsification and rejection. Finally, I present my own conclusions on this issue. Keywords: Karl Popper, falsifiability, falsification, demarcation problem, pseudo-science CONTENTS Abstract Introduction 1 The demarcation problem 2 Pseudoscience 3 Falsifiability 4 Falsification and refutation 5 Extension of falsifiability 6 Criticism of falsifiability 7 Support of falsifiability 8 The current trend Conclusions Bibliography Notes DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22522.54725
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Science Is Not What You Think

This book discusses the ways in which science, the touchstone of reliable knowledge in modern society, changed dramatically in the second half of the 20th century, becoming less trustworthy through conflicts of interest and excessive ...

Author: Henry H. Bauer

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476669106

Category: Reference

Page: 260

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 This book discusses the ways in which science, the touchstone of reliable knowledge in modern society, changed dramatically in the second half of the 20th century, becoming less trustworthy through conflicts of interest and excessive competitiveness. Fraud became common enough that organized efforts to combat it now include a federal Office of Research Integrity. Competent minority opinions are sometimes thereby suppressed, with the result that policy makers, the media and the public are presented with biased or incomplete information. Evidence tending to challenge established theories is sometimes rejected without addressing its substance. While most would agree in the abstract that science can go wrong, few would consider--despite interesting contrary evidence--that official consensus about the origins of the universe or the causes of global warming might be mistaken.
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