- 1. a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method: "the new pseudoscience of “counseling”"
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- Pseudoscience definition is - a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific. a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific… See the full definition
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Definition of pseudoscience. : a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific.
pseudoscience [ (sooh-doh- seye-uhns) ] A system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not. For example, astronomy is a science, but astrology is generally viewed as a pseudoscience.
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Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method.
pseudoscience - an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions astrology, star divination - a pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon alchemy - a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times fallacy, false belief - a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
The definition of pseudoscience is a set of beliefs, theories or practices falsely believed to be based on scientific evidence. An example of pseudoscience is the belief in numerology, the relationship between certain numbers and people and events.
Apr 28, 2013 · A supposed science with some resemblance to legitimate scientific structure, but due to peer review and scientific scrutiny simply cannot be regarded as such.
Feb 13, 2019 · A pseudoscience is a fake science that makes claims based on faulty or nonexistent scientific evidence. In most cases, these pseudosciences present claims in a way that makes them seem possible, but with little or no empirical support for these claims. Graphology, numerology, and astrology, are all examples of pseudosciences.
May 28, 2012 · A theory or discipline that purports to be scientific is pseudoscientific if and only if: 1. It has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many...
Pseudoscientists often commit various abuses and misuses of statistics. Pseudoscientists are motivated by considerations that lie outside the scope of science, or have already been thoroughly discredited. Example, the acupuncturists' acceptance of the reality of specific "energy pathways" in the human body.
- The Purpose of Demarcations
- The “Science” of Pseudoscience
- The “Pseudo” of Pseudoscience
- Alternative Demarcation Criteria
- Some Related Terms
- Unity in Diversity
Demarcations of science from pseudoscience can be made for boththeoretical and practical reasons (Mahner 2007, 516). From atheoretical point of view, the demarcation issue is an illuminatingperspective that contributes to the philosophy of science in the sameway that the study of fallacies contributes to the study of informallogic and rational argumentation. From a practical point of view, thedistinction is important for decision guidance in both private andpublic life. Since science is our most reliable source of knowledge ina wide variety of areas, we need to distinguish scientific knowledgefrom its look-alikes. Due to the high status of science in present-daysociety, attempts to exaggerate the scientific status of variousclaims, teachings, and products are common enough to make thedemarcation issue pressing in many areas. The demarcation issue istherefore important in practical applications such as thefollowing: 1. Healthcare: Medical science develops and evaluates treatmentsacco...
The oldest known use of the word “pseudoscience” datesfrom 1796 when the historian James Pettit Andrew referred to alchemyas a “fantastical pseudo-science” (Oxford EnglishDictionary). The word has been in frequent use since the 1880s (Thursand Numbers 2013). Throughout its history the word has had a clearlydefamatory meaning (Laudan 1983, 119; Dolby 1987, 204). It would be asstrange for someone to proudly describe her own activities aspseudoscience as to boast that they are bad science. Since thederogatory connotation is an essential characteristic of the word“pseudoscience”, an attempt to extricate a value-freedefinition of the term would not be meaningful. An essentiallyvalue-laden term has to be defined in value-laden terms. This is oftendifficult since the specification of the value component tends to becontroversial. This problem is not specific to pseudoscience but follows directlyfrom a parallel but somewhat less conspicuous problem with the conceptof science. The common usag...
3.1 Non-, un-, and pseudoscience
The phrases “demarcation of science” and“demarcation of science from pseudoscience” are often usedinterchangeably, and many authors seem to have regarded them as equalin meaning. In their view the task of drawing the outer boundaries ofscience is essentially the same as that of drawing the boundarybetween science and pseudoscience. This picture is oversimplified. All non-science is not pseudoscience,and science has non-trivial borders to other non-scientific phenomena,such as metaphysics, rel...
3.2 Non-science posing as science
Many writers on pseudoscience have emphasized that pseudoscience isnon-science posing as science. The foremost modern classic on thesubject (Gardner 1957) bears the title Fads and Fallacies in theName of Science. According to Brian Baigrie (1988, 438),“[w]hat is objectionable about these beliefs is that theymasquerade as genuinely scientific ones.” These and many otherauthors assume that to be pseudoscientific, an activity or a teachinghas to satisfy the following two criteria (Hansson 1996):...
3.3 The doctrinal component
An immediate problem with the definition based on (1) and (2) is thatit is too wide. There are phenomena that satisfy both criteria but arenot commonly called pseudoscientific. One of the clearest examples ofthis is fraud in science. This is a practice that has a high degree ofscientific pretence and yet does not comply with science, thussatisfying both criteria. Nevertheless, fraud in otherwise legitimatebranches of science is seldom if ever called“pseudoscience”. The reason for this can be...
Attempts to define what we today call science have a long history, andthe roots of the demarcation problem have sometimes been traced backto Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics (Laudan 1983).However it was not until the 20thcentury that influentialdefinitions of science have contrasted it against pseudoscience.
Pseudo-sciences have been called many names, with connotations rangingfrom contemptuous to laudatory. Three the terms currently in frequentuse are science denial(ism), scepticism, and fact resistance.
Kuhn observed that although his own and Popper’s criteria ofdemarcation are profoundly different, they lead to essentially thesame conclusions on what should be counted as science respectivelypseudoscience (Kuhn 1974, 803). This convergence of theoreticallydivergent demarcation criteria is a quite general phenomenon.Philosophers and other theoreticians of science differ widely in theirviews on what science is. Nevertheless, there is virtual unanimity inthe community of knowledge disciplines on most particular issues ofdemarcation. There is widespread agreement for instance thatcreationism, astrology, homeopathy, Kirlian photography, dowsing,ufology, ancient astronaut theory, Holocaust denialism, Velikovskiancatastrophism, and climate change denialism are pseudosciences. Thereare a few points of controversy, for instance concerning the status ofFreudian psychoanalysis, but the general picture is one of consensusrather than controversy in particular issues of demarcation. It is in a s...