Jun 5, 2017

Distinguishing science, non-science, pseudoscience, fraud, and BS

In a 2014 lecture James Ladyman, a professor of philosophy at University of Bristol, on the difference between science, non-science, bad science, pseudoscience, fraud, and bullshit states:

Important distinctions to keep in mind whenever we encounter people using the word science or proclaim to base their practice on science.

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1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
Daniel Dennett, Intuition pumps and other tools for thinking.

Valid criticism is doing you a favor. - Carl Sagan