Leon Wieseltier attacks Steve Pinker for scientism

Why Evolution Is True

A while ago, Steve Pinker published a critique of the Scientism Canard in the New Republic. His piece, called  “Science Is Not Your Enemy”, seemed quite reasonable to me. It wasn’t a call for the takeover of the humanities by science, but simply an expansion of some of the humanities to incorporate scientific insights and methodologies.  A quote from that piece gives its tenor:

Demonizers of scientism often confuse intelligibility with a sin called reductionism. But to explain a complex happening in terms of deeper principles is not to discard its richness. No sane thinker would try to explain World War I in the language of physics, chemistry, and biology as opposed to the more perspicuous language of the perceptions and goals of leaders in 1914 Europe. At the same time, a curious person can legitimately ask why human minds are apt to have such perceptions and goals, including…

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