Scientism, or the abuse of reason

by alexeyburov

May 22 (video is here) and June 5 (video is there) I gave a talk on scientism or the abuse of reason. The common presentation file is here.

Scientism is an excessive application of science to humanity. How such a good thing as science could be excessive? Well, science does see only objects, it is unable to see subjects, res cogitans, the thinking beings. Science cannot distinguish great new ideas from absurd, science cannot derive a value or a meaning of anything. From scientific point of view, a human being is an object among objects; there is no difference between a human being and a computer, the values do not have any categorical, unconditional root. Scientism leads to ethical paradox (there is no ethics for objects, thus any distinction between good and evil is arbitrary, so looking for truth is as good or bad as looking for lie; thus, the scientific development does not have any value) and the paradox of Epimenides (as an object, I am thinking and saying by virtue of initial conditions of atoms of my brain/body and random kicks, which has nothing to do with truth of my ideas).

Excessive application of science follows from the absolutization of reason which can be illustrated by a Penrose-like diagram:

AbsolutizationOfReason

 

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