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Philosophy of PseudoscienceReconsidering the Demarcation Problem$
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Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226051796

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226051826.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 08 May 2021

Science and Pseudoscience

Science and Pseudoscience

How to Demarcate after the (Alleged) Demise of the Demarcation Problem

(p.29) 2 Science and Pseudoscience
Philosophy of Pseudoscience

Martin Mahner

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores a cluster approach to demarcation. The first step toward a feasible demarcation is choosing the most comprehensive unit of analysis: entire fields of knowledge, or epistemic fields. Choosing fields of knowledge as a starting point allows us to consider the many facets of science, namely that it is at the same time a body of knowledge and a social system of people including their collective activities. It allows us to consider not just the philosophy of science, but also the history, sociology, and psychology of science. However, one consequence of a cluster approach is that we must do with a reasonable profile of any given field rather than with a clear-cut assessment. A cluster demarcation also entails that the reasons we give for classifying a given field as a pseudoscience may vary from field to field.

Keywords:   demarcationism, cluster approach, philosophy of science, pseudoscience

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