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The Seven Sins of Pseudo-Science

A. A. Derksen
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 24, No. 1 (1993), pp. 17-42
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25170950
Page Count: 26
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The Seven Sins of Pseudo-Science
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Abstract

In this paper I will argue that a profile of the pseudo-sciences can be gained from the scientific pretensions of the pseudo-scientist. These pretensions provide two yardsticks which together take care of the charge of scientific prejudice that any suggested demarcation of pseudo-science has to face. To demonstrate that my analysis has teeth I will apply it to Freud and modern-day Bach-kabbalists. Against Laudan I will argue that the problem of demarcation is not a pseudo-problem, though the discussion will bear out that Laudan's replacement question, namely the question whether someone's theory is well-confirmed, is not, as Lugg claimed, independent of the question as to whether that person is a pseudo-scientist. I further argue that my prototype pseudo-scientists do not have the shortcomings highlighted in Thagard's recent analysis of pseudo-science.

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