How Scientism Infiltrated Medicine and Distorted Clinical Practice: Scientism May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Charles J Kowalski, David Fessell, Adam J Mrdjenovich, Richard W Redman


Scientism can be defined as a passionate belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning, to the exclusion of other viewpoints. At this level of generality, it is not difficult to show that scientism poses some distinct dangers, putting a damper as it does on the validity and usefulness of other kinds of knowledge and/or ways of learning. But this has not dissuaded some from thinking that scientism might still be of value in medicine. The popularity of evidence based medicine (EMB) attests to the fact that many so believe. We argue, to the contrary, that clinical practice relies on other kinds of knowledge, and that this is attainable only if we admit consideration of other kinds of learning. We conclude that scientism may be dangerous to your health.

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