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In the previous essay I examined how Renaissance Humanism and the religious reformations can contribute to improving the multiversity as an institution that promotes the public good rather than being an academic patchwork that is sown together by specialized disciplines that only speak to themselves. Each of these movements sought a new paradigm to educate its members: Renaissance Humanism’s civic…

In an article I wrote in 1981, I made a first attempt to describe Eric Voegelin's work-method, his Arbeitsmethode. At the time I focused on the early work and pointed out that a complex methodology was already being employed, which had its origins in the German tradition of Geisteswissenschaft but which also was something very personal, reflecting Voegelin's search for…

The debate about scientism (also referred to as positivism or scientific reductionism) is an argument over the validity of applying the methods of the natural sciences to the social sciences. The desire of the positivist to purge the social sciences of its subjective element reveals his or her assumptions that reality consists only of immanent existence and that knowledge only…

In the name of the past and the future, the theoretical servants and the practical servants of Humanity assume befittingly the general leadership of the affairs of the earth in order to construct, at last, the true providence, moral, intellectual and material; they irrevocably exclude from political supremacy all the various slaves of God, Catholics, Protestants, or Deists, since they…

Maladies of Modernity: Scientism and the Deformation of Political Order. David Whitney. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine Press, 2015.
 
David Whitney’s excellent critique of what he calls scientism, a dogmatic application of the methods of natural science to social science, provides a high-brow diagnosis of the modern maladies that result from the “rhetorical power of science.” Whitney traces the development of…

We have spoken metaphorically of the cancerous growth of the rational-utilitarian segment in modern civilization. We now must go beyond the metaphor and indicate the concrete sentiments and ideas that determine this growth in its formative stage. The sudden and disproportionate expansion of one single element in a total structure at the expense of other elements presupposes a serious disturbance…

The loss of the concrete is substantially a spiritual disease. With the thinning out of faith into a reverential attitude toward symbols, the meaning of the symbols themselves is thinned out to propositions the truth of which has to be demonstrated by rea­son. As a residuum of reality there remains only the structure and content of consciousness, that is, of…

The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science. Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, eds. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Books, 2011.

 
With thirty eight contributors writing 41 essays encompassing a wide range of views, it’s unlikely this 963-page tome on naturalism in science will be surpassed for many years. The brief editors’ Introduction goes to…

The Foundations of the Scientific Method
What we call the natural sciences emerged only in Western civilization which in turn was built on the experiences of Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christian revelation. How did these experiences make possible the emergence of the experimental natural sciences?
It is possible to list three factors underlying modern scientific method. To undertake any scientific investigation we must:
(i)…