No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118
essentialsaltes

Scientism is still wrong

Long ago, I ranted about the is/ought problem and scientism, Not science, but scientism... the idea that because scientists find that something is true, that it therefore ought to be that way. As I wrote...

"Scientific fact: Observations of non-human animals exhibiting behavior X.
Scientismist: Humans should be like that.
Anti-Scientismist: What are you smoking?

The scientismist not only anthropomorphises the behavior of the animals, but then maps that behavior onto human beings as a prescriptive rule. Shit, that's tantamount to demanding that Queen Elizabeth II pump out hundreds of eggs a day. Stop being stupid."


Conflating ant queens with human queens seemed exaggerated enough that people would get the parodic point. No one would do such a thing, right? Take some fact about ant nature and apply it to human society as if it were also a fact?

Jordan Peterson steps into the fray.

"
30% of the ants do 70% of the work. Not a consequence of the West, or capitalism, in case it needs to be said :)"

We'll set aside that he seems to have misunderstood the paper he was quoting. We'll set aside that, as per usual, his remarks are actually ambiguous. Is he happy that some minority has to work hard to make the majority comfortable? 
Is he complaining that 70% of people are lazy? Who knows? But what's important is that he thinks that ant nature has some sort of necessary consequences about human nature. It's not capitalism. It's merely human/ant nature!


Tags: is/ought, philosophy, science
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