Science and non-science: the search for a demarcation criterion in the 20th century

  • Renato Coletto North-West University, South Africa

Abstract

Contemporary philosophy of science has struggled considerably over an apparently simple question: how can one distinguish scientific from non-scientific thinking (knowledge, research and so on)? What are the characteristics of science which make it a unique type of activity? A sub-theme is also explored: which disciplines or fields of study may be regarded as “science”? These questions constitute the quest for the so-called “demarcation criterion between science and non-science”. The responses provided by some of the most prominent philosophers of science of the 20th century are evaluated, with the conclusion that they have not supplied a solid demarcation criterion. In the final part of the article, however, I briefly out line the criterion elaborated by the South African scholar, DFM Strauss, in the context of the Dooyeweerdian tradition. I suggest that this criterion constitutes a plausible response to the demarcation problem.

Published
2011-04-29
How to Cite
Coletto, R. (2011). Science and non-science: the search for a demarcation criterion in the 20th century. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 47(1), 63-79. Retrieved from http://pubs.ufs.ac.za/index.php/tcw/article/view/252
Section
Artikels | Articles