Scientism versus science

“Scientism is not the same thing as science. Science is a blessing, but scientism is a curse. Science, I mean what practicing scientists actually do, is acutely and admirably aware of its limits, and humbly admits to the provisional character of its conclusions; but scientism is dogmatic, and peddles certainties. It is always at the ready with the solution to every problem, because it believes that the solution to every problem is a scientific one, and so it gives scientific answers to non-scientific questions. Owing to its preference for totalistic explanation, scientism transforms science into an ideology, which is of course a betrayal of the experimental and empirical spirit.”

Leon Wieseltier, Perhaps Culture is Now the Counterculture: A Defense of the Humanities, 19 May 2013; www.newrepublic.com/article/113299/leon-wieseltier-commencement-speech-brandeis-university-2013 [Wieseltier self-describes as a humanist.]

Further reading

The religion of scientism.