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November 1, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Anti-Scientism and Anti-Naturalism Research Bibliography

The purpose of this bibliography is to provide the background of the critique of scientism and naturalism in philosophical literature.  Its not 100% extensive, but does still cover a significant amount of the territory in terms of the arguments made and the authors that make them.

The core understandings:

  1. Soft scientism
  2. Hard scientism

I would suggest the following are the core voices:

  • William Lane Craig (two videos and quotes from Wintery Knight)
  • JP Moreland (video)
    John Eccles on reductionism (or as he calls it promisory reductionism, dualism, and some of the philosophical issues behind the brain-based considerations–aka neuroscience).  Eccles I believe was a neuro-physiologist & philosopher.
  • CS Lewis, Abolition of Man (link)***
  • CS Lewis, On Miracles (link)
  • CS Lewis, a number of other essays
  • Alvin Platinga (he has written pretty extensively)
  • Ed Feser (at least 3 essays) [he’s written at least two books on related topics, but I’m not sure how much of either are on this topic]  Here is Feser’s blog
  • Mary Midgely (a number of books and essays)  Here is here Amazon author page (link)
  • Peter S. Williams, CS Lewis vs. the New Atheists (link)
  • Michael D. Aeschliman, The Restitution of Man: CS Lewis and the Case Against Scientism (link)

Its also worth noting that a number of atheists are critical of scientism as well (i.e. atheism in drag)

Here is the neuro-philosophy side of the question to some extent (link).

  • The Michael Aeschliman links to a Google book that’s partial.  I liked that book book a lot.
  • Its also important to note that the critique of naturalism seems to be at the heart of this question.  That’s why Alvin Platinga and CS Lewis’ On Miracles is included.

I think the Peter Williams is particularly good to the extent that it quotes so extensively from Atheists themselves pointing to gaping holes, particular in terms of the hard problem of conscience, but also the utter lack of meaning question.

It all gets back to a couple arguments:

  1. Scientism in ethics/philosophy destroys ethics
  2. Scientism destroys the academy
  3. Scientism destroys all knowledge
  4. Scientism undermines the emotional
  5. Scientism undermines the subjective
  6. Scientism is self-defeating (this is the bottom line argument)
  7. Overall critique of naturalism
  8. Critique of Hume (Miracles or Humean fork)
  9. Critique of Veritifcationism
  10. Scientism imprints the Enlightenment human on humans, excluding all other historical eras (Romanticism, Renaissance, etc..).  I think there may even be science which calls that decision into question (emotions are key to humans and decision-making)

By destroying the following you destroy science, the human, and civilization:

  • The academy
  • The identity/the human
  • Choice, purpose, ethics, responsibility

CS Lewis quotes from Abolition of Man (TBA)

CS Lewis-esque quotes from Restitution of Man (link)

CS Lewis quotes from Miracles (link)

CS Lewis quotes from God is in the Dock (link)

  • I would still read these books.  I’m sure I left out some quotes and you certainly get more context for the argument he was making.  In addition there are lots of references he makes which may spark ideas.
  • I will try to provide links to the videos and articles in the near future
  • I hope this helps your anti-scientism research and bibliography needs

If you know of other research resources that critique scientism or naturalism, feel free to leave a comment.

2 Comments

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  1. compassioninpolitics / Dec 2 2015 9:25 pm

    I would also point to this book, which is more naturalism, but relates to the core issue:

    Victor Reppert, C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.

    Its short, but it answers Anscombe’s argument against CS Lewis Miracles.

    Also, above you will notice a link to another Bibliography on neuroscience, scientism, and materialism:
    https://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/critical-bibliography-of-neurophilosophy-scientism-and-reductive-materialismphysicalismnaturalism/

    I would suggest bookmarking both of these. Happy researching!!!

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