Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Scientism

Attending a philosophy meetup later tonight about scientism, using a show (that I haven't seen) called "The Big Bang Theory" as a prop to demonstrate the concept; it's about misapplication of science in broad areas of life where either philosophy or a lack of such focused attention might be more appropriate.

My initial thoughts are that one could come to two general approaches:

  • Learn to appreciate human nature; how people find meaning in life in stories, status, and interpersonal relationships and treat them accordingly; don't believe that these things can be waived/negotiated away even when you might come up with some argument or contract that says they can. With this firmly in place and the relevant concerns fully understood, one might reasonably apply some of the methods of science to one's life (and ideally have an idea where one should not, primarily because it makes one unable to live life well in these ways).
  • Focus on living life and use science primarily to study segregated realms of natural phenomena distant from one's life if and where one doesn't want to take on the burden of the above nuanced response
I see some of the same concerns with philosophy as with science here, although philosophy is (or at least should be) pursued with a reasonable understanding of humanity as a prerequisite so it's somewhat less vulnerable; the "overthinking" difficulty remains in play though.

This has some commonality with my (on the pile of not quite finished blogposts) criticism of the LessWrong community, and with technolibertarian movements in general. I'm looking forward to the meetup, particularly because the angle the host is approaching it from (not necessarily the positions reached) is different than that I've used, and there's a lot of life-philosophy openended-problem goodness to wade through.

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