The Gordian Knot of Demarcation: Tying Up Some Loose Ends
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 2019 10.1080/02698595.2019.1618031
In this article, I seek to improve upon a definition of pseudoscience put forward by Sven Ove Hansson. I argue that not only does its use of ‘pseudoscientific statement’ as definiendum inadequately address the theoretical issue of demarcation, it also makes the definition inapt for practical demarcation. Moreover, I argue that Hanson’s definition subsumes statements and associated practices that are forms of bad science, resulting in an unfavourably wide concept. I try to save the definition from the brunt of this critique by arguing that some pseudoscientific statements are particularly significant when demarcating a discipline as a pseudoscience.
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