Is Science And Pseudoscience?

1744 Words7 Pages
In this essay I will argue that science and pseudoscience cannot be clearly demarcated: rather that there’s great difficulty and complication on the fringes when asserting strict criteria that distinguishes the two. I will give a brief overview and draw on the arguments made by philosophers of science throughout history and explain why perhaps their criteria are problematic. I will look in depth into ‘creation science’ and why we strongly consider this as pseudoscientific and analyse the more ambiguous peripheries of science such as Freudian psychoanalysis or even economics. Laudan (1983) claimed that the problem of demarcation can be traced back to ancient Greece and Aristotle. Aristotle asserted that from general laws one can deduce scientific theories that are consequently truthful statements. Pseudoscientific theories according to Aristotle are not deductively formulated and therefore cannot be considered scientific. However this method of demarcation is flawed: pseudosciences such as astrology can be vacuously true and most are reluctant to say astrology is scientific. We can already see from this early stage that the distinctions between science and pseudoscience are murky and the formulation of demarcation can be challenging. In the 17th century Francis Bacon introduced induction as the new method for producing scientific theories. However inductive reasoning is riddled with problems that make it unsatisfactory for demarcating science. Hume’s problem of induction
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