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Scientific inquiry as a form of theology

February 16, 2015

Philip Kitcher in Science, Truth and Democracy:

I have attempted a systematic survey of all the possibilities for showing that “truth is better than much profit” and have come up empty. Indeed, what is most striking is the fact that, when articulated, the possible lines of defense are so unpromising. From the Enlightenment on, those committed to the value of scientific inquiry have been so convinced that challenges could be quickly dismissed that they have failed to explore the bases of their conviction. Behind the often evangelical rhetoric about the value of knowledge stands a serious theology, an unexamined faith that pursuing inquiry will be good for us, even when it transforms our schemes of values. It’s time to abandon that theology too. We need agnosticism all the way down.

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